ISPE Glossary of Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Terminology

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Autoclave

An apparatus into which moist heat (steam) under pressure is introduced to sterilize or decontaminate materials placed within (e.g. filter assemblies, glassware, etc.).

Publication Source: ISPE Baseline® Guide, Vol. 3: Sterile Product Manufacturing Facilities (Second Edition)

Publication Date: 2011

Autoclave

An apparatus into which moist heat (steam) under pressure is introduced to sterilize or decontaminate materials placed within (e.g. filter assemblies, glassware, etc.). Steam pressure is maintained for pre-specified times and then allowed to exhaust. There are two types of autoclaves:

1. Gravity displacement autoclave: this type of autoclave operates at 249.8ºF (121ºC). Steam enters at the top of the loaded inner chamber, displacing the air below through a discharge outlet.

2. Vacuum autoclave: this type of autoclave can operate with a reduced sterilization cycle time. The air is pumped out of the loaded chamber before it is filled with steam.

Publication Source: ISPE Good Practice Guide: Quality Laboratory Facilities

Publication Date: 2012

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