Holiday closure notice: Closed 25th, 26th December & 01st January. No other closures. 


Single Use Dental Instruments Logo

A Guide to the Evolution of Sterilisation

We’ve come a long way since the days of the demons and evil spirits being thought to be the cause of plagues or infection. This blog will give you an ultimate guide to the Evolution of Sterilisation. 


Scientific developments for sterilisation remained a mystery until Louis Pasteur’s work from 1862 was accepted in later years. Initially searching for a solution to the spoilage of wine and beer, he identified that bacteria could be killed at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Upon applying this practice to medical instrument cleaning, Pasteur coined the technique of boiling instruments to kill microorganisms. It was his work that inspired Charles Chamberland – (a pupil of Pasteur’s) to turn the original autoclave, a pressure cooker, into a standard medical tool in 1879.             

Supply and demand

From their beginnings as basic mechanical machines, autoclaves have come a long way. Now computerised, they are a vital component in hospitals, laboratories and clinics. With the importance of sterilisation firmly identified, the autoclave market has since boomed with projections estimating it to reach $7.5 billion by 2023.

This demand is mostly fuelled by the increasing incidence of HAIs, growing ageing population and the higher number of clinics outsourcing sterilisation to external facilities.  

Which autoclave is best?

With a saturated market of steam sterilisers ranging from all shapes, sizes, specs and prices, it can be a minefield trying to identify which is best for you. Clinics must consider their specific needs, the frequency of cycles required per day and not to mention their budget.  Thankfully, autoclave varieties can all be categorised into one of three types: Class B, Class S and Class N – which often helps narrow the search a little.

A simple overview of the differences:

Class B – used for sterilising all objects (solid & hollow instruments, textiles, porous items, both packaged and unpackaged loads)

Class S – used for sterilising unpackaged, uncomplicated hollow or solid instruments

Class N – used for sterilising only un-packaged solid instruments

Naturally, Class B autoclaves are the most popular as they provide the most flexibility.   

If you want to learn more contact one of our friendly sales professionals today!