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sterilization in microwave oven

About microscopic forms of life, including Bacteria, Archea, protozoans, algae and fungi. Topics relating to viruses, viroids and prions also belong here.

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Re: sterilization in microwave oven

Postby FrederickCarson » Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:26 pm

protozoan wrote:Could be something like that possible? If i put a glass (pipettes, test tubes etc) to the microwave oven and set it to for example 10 minutes (may be more) and to maximal power (heat) couldnt be it sterile?..........just wondering.

Yes. Despite what some people have said on this forum it is possible to sterilize in the microwave.
Many people use it for kitchen sponges.
The article below from researchers at the university of florida showed that its even possible to sterilize syringes killing even Bacillus cereus spores, its just it takes 12 minutes to do so.
http://news.ufl.edu/2007/01/22/zap-the-bugs/
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Postby canalon » Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:14 pm

If I am sure that the microwave can and will destroy most bacteria, and that a proper protocol might increase its efficiency I find what you give us is a PR note that do not link to any primary source (not surprising, but annoying, even more so knowing that PR dept are known for often arranging the result to make them more interesting...).
The second thing is that there are norms and protocols to prove that a sterilization protocol is working, and interestingly, they are not used nor mentioned in this. For one thing, the common tests are based on the survival of Bacillus stearathermophilus, not Bacillus cereus. And usually cultures with known numbers of bacteria are used which allow to track the efficiency of the sterilization over time.
So decontamination (reducing the bacterial load to safe level) in a microwave, sure. Sterilizing, not so much.
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Postby alchilito » Sat Oct 23, 2010 12:39 am

conditions for sterilization have been established clearly for a long time now

I highly doubt any kind of microwave treatment would effectively kill spores.
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Re: sterilization in microwave oven

Postby jaypark » Thu Nov 18, 2010 1:59 pm

An interesting one for the classification of the microwave, we shall determine it by making some aspect that could be use to see the function. It was the function that should be the way to use it for a long period. It was highly recommended to make some action to know the result if they trying to sterilize.
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Postby canalon » Thu Nov 18, 2010 2:04 pm

And how would you translate that in english?
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Re: sterilization in microwave oven

Postby fdgsr » Tue Mar 18, 2014 3:13 pm

I am a microbiologist, now retired. I have used autoclaves for years. Many of you may not know of the older ways of sterilization when autoclaves were not available or too expensive for the purpose. Nurses used to use a boiling water bath to 'sterilize' needles for reuse and to 'sterilize' surgical instruments. It is innocence pure and simple with all authority for sterile in the title, NURSE. (Back in those days nurses were kept sterile by not allowing them to marry. Teachers and other professional women could not get a job if married because their husbands were their owners and could veto any order by a super seer.) Of course anthrax spores and spores of common contaminants were not killed. But, the rare spore of a pathogen on an instrument after it was thoroughly washed and dried along with the improbability of a pathogen in the air at the moment of contact rendered those methods relatively safe and traditional. Dentists often did not do more than wash instruments in soap and water. The method of 'inspissation' came into use after the turn of the 20th century. A culture medium would be heated to boiling and then held at room temperature or even incubated for a few hours to a day or two. The heat killed all vegetative forms, and the spores germinated to vegetative forms. The culture medium was then heated to boiling again. That could be done as many as three times to obtain almost absolute sterility. Most early bacteriology was done with media 'sterilized' in that manner. Microwave could be used in the same way to 'inspissate' by intermittent microwaving. It would kill vegetative forms and if spores germinated, they could be killed by a second or third microwaving.
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