A single unit to perform, in a fully automatic way, the four most relevant phases involved of the preparation of culture media
Thanks to RAYPA’s AE-MP Series culture media preparator, you can carry out the preparation, sterilization, cooling and dispensing of culture media in your microbiology or plant tissue culture laboratory using a single equipment and with an excellent batch-to-batch reproducibility.
Phases in culture media preparation
In general, the preparation of culture media is usually done manually, which entails certain risks when preparing it, for example, differences in quality among different batches or contamination errors, and also for the personnel, such as injuries or burns.
Let us summarize the usual steps involved in the manual preparation of culture media:
Risks in manual preparation of culture media
As you know, the manual preparation of culture media takes a great deal of time, due to the different tasks to be performed (weighing container by container, addition of purified water, use a magnetic stirrer and wait until solute is dissolved, autoclaving the containers, waiting for cooling until the containers are at a safe temperature, etc.). In addition, it may involve some risks. Regarding the preparation, the risks are:
Regarding personnel, the risks are due to:
Preparation of culture media with a media preparator
The first phase is preparation: selection and weighing of the components and rehydration with purified water.
In the automatic process with a media preparator, the tasks to be performed are the same, but there are some significant differences:
We can assure you that, with our culture media preparator, you will not only save time, but also avoid preparation errors and occupational accidents. First, because all the preparation is carried out inside the equipment and also because the media preparator is equipped with:
By performing the entire process directly in the media preparator, you minimize the risk of workplace accidents and injuries, such as splashes of corrosive solutions, burns from handling hot solutions, and back pain due to poor posture. You will also minimize cross-contamination risk from human handling since there are fewer manual steps.
Sterilization is one of the most complicated phases of the whole process, as it requires a great deal of accuracy and precision. Insufficient sterilization will cause contamination problems and excessive sterilization will be a waste of time, waste of energy and might overcook the product.
This heat treatment is usually carried out with specific equipment, whose function is only sterilization. In a sterilizer or autoclave, the personnel must manually indicate the time and temperature to be reached.
Once sterilization has been initiated, such equipment does not typically have any device that verifies that the designated temperature has been reached for the required time in each and every processed container. Additionally, by conducting sterilization with a basic equipment, the opportunity to record all process variables and thus ensure its traceability is lost.
With the AE-MP Series media preparator all those problems will disappear because:
Once the sterilization of a culture medium has been completed, it must be cooled down before dispensing it in different containers. This task becomes is complicated due to the high temperatures involved, which can reach up to 121ºC. This elevated temperature poses a significant risk to operators, as it could result in severe burns upon handling the hot containers.
Moreover, it can take a considerable amount of time for liquids in large quantities, whether they are contained in 1L or 200ml bottles, to cool down to a temperature that is safe for handling. It is imperative that the equipment utilized should be equipped with a flexible probe capable of accurately determining the temperature of the liquid medium in real time. This is of utmost importance to ensure a safe handling temperature, as the actual temperature of the liquid medium may still be high, even if the chamber temperature appears to be low.
Moreover, the fast cooling system by means of a water cooling coil in the media preparator will reduce the duration of this phase very significantly. By circulating water through a cooling coil that surrounds the internal cuvette, the culture medium is cooled in a very short time. Also, this equipment can indefinitely maintain the appropriate dispensing temperature, which prevents gelling, ensuring a comfortable, safe and efficient dispensing phase.
Manually distributing the culture medium involves extracting the different containers from the autoclave, without spilling their content while wearing the appropriate equipment to avoid any occupational risks. This procedure should be done quickly to prevent the medium from gelling.
Also, it must be taken into account that, due to the high temperature of the container and the solution, the operator may get burned. Finally, it is necessary to adopt an inappropriate posture, since the containers might be heavy and taking them out of the autoclave requires uncomfortable and inadequate postures for the lower back.
To address these issues, the media preparator incorporates semi-automatic dispensing. Moreover, it provides the capability to perform a scalable and precise delivery through the use of a pedal, delay, or optical sensor, facilitating a more efficient dispensation. In fact, it can be as fast as the user requires, since the speed of each dispensing rotation can be adjusted from 7 ml/s up to 94 ml/s. This makes dispensing extremely fast and much more accurate.
On the other hand, the media preparator allows the dispensing temperature to be adjusted and the dispensing tubes can be cleaned and disinfected with high-temperature steam pulses before, during and after each dispensing phase.
RAYPA's AE-MP culture media preparator, a 4-in-1 equipment
There are many advantages of using RAYPA’s AE-MP Series media preparators. In this article we have described a few of them. We would like to highlight the capability to produce a range of 5 to 90 liters of culture media per cycle in a single equipment, in addition to performing the four phases of this procedure automatically: preparation, sterilization, cooling and dispensing of culture media.
Thanks to its features, ergonomic design, and high functionality, you can minimize the time required to complete the task, improve the quality of the prepared product, have complete control over the process, and reduce the occupational hazards faced by the operators.
If you want to optimize all aspects of the production of culture media within your microbiology or plant tissue culture laboratory, we kindly encourage you to learn more details about our AE-MP Series culture media preparator.