Last Updated on September 27, 2023


TOMY Fast Lab Autoclave SX-Series clean chamber

Top-loading autoclaves’ vertically aligned chambers are ideal for sterilizing bioreactors and fermentors

In the world of biotechnology and brewing, bioreactors and fermentors play a crucial role in the production of various products, ranging from pharmaceuticals to craft beers. Ensuring the sterility of these vessels is of utmost importance to prevent contamination and achieve optimal results. Autoclaves have emerged as a highly effective method for sterilizing bioreactors and fermentors due to their ability to subject the entire apparatus to high heat and pressure, eradicating unwanted organisms without the use of harsh chemicals. In this article, we will explore the benefits and advantages of top-loading autoclaves, which provide an efficient, affordable, and hassle-free solution for bioreactor and fermentor sterilization.

Why Choose Autoclaves for Bioreactor and Fermentor Sterilization?

Autoclaves have proven to be a preferred choice for sterilizing bioreactors and fermentors for several reasons. The materials commonly used in their construction, such as stainless steel and glass, can withstand the high temperatures required for effective sterilization and prevent fouling. This ensures the protection of mammalian and insect cells and tissues cultured in bioreactors and various microorganisms used in fermentors, including bacteria, yeast, and algae.

Moreover, autoclaves offer a definitive sterilization process, leaving no room for residual contamination, unlike chemical methods that might leave behind traces of acidic substances. This makes autoclaves a safer and more reliable option for critical applications in research, production, and quality control settings.


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The Challenge: Cost and Size Constraints

While autoclaves are the gold standard for sterilization, many organizations, particularly smaller laboratories in biotech start-ups and breweries, face challenges in acquiring and maintaining traditional front-loading autoclaves. The larger models required to accommodate even small to medium-sized bioreactors and fermentors can be expensive, space-consuming, and labor-intensive to install.

This is where top-loading autoclaves come to the rescue, offering a practical solution for smaller labs with limited resources. Let’s delve into the features that make them the ideal choice for sterilizing bioreactors and fermentors.

Design Advantages of Top-Loading Autoclaves

Top-loading autoclaves are designed with a vertically aligned cylindrical chamber, making them a perfect fit for cylindrical bioreactors and fermentors, which are commonly used in research and production processes. The size and dimensions of these autoclaves are well-suited for accommodating smaller vessels, allowing for efficient sterilization without wasting energy on a larger chamber than necessary.

For instance, the TOMY SX-700, with a 70L chamber size, can easily handle 7L, 10L, and even 15L bioreactors and fermentors. If you are unsure about the compatibility of your bioreactor or fermentor with TOMY autoclaves, our team can assist you in finding the right fit.

Utility and Ease of Use

The vertical configuration of top-loading autoclaves brings several benefits when it comes to loading and unloading bioreactors and fermentors. Unlike smaller front-loading autoclaves, top-loading models maintain vertical alignment during the loading and sterilization cycle, ensuring easier handling of heavy bioreactor and fermentor cylinders, even when hot after a sterilization cycle.

Moreover, the tall loading basket allows for sterilizing bioreactors and fermentors with liquid culture media inside the vessel. The autoclave, when used with a tall basket, can capture any spills or overflows, preventing liquids from entering the chamber water and causing potential damage.

Additionally, top-loading autoclaves have a relatively small footprint in relation to their capacity. The TOMY SX-Series autoclaves, for instance, boast the smallest known footprint-to-chamber size ratio among top-loading autoclaves, saving valuable space in cramped laboratories.

Simple Installation and Cost-Effectiveness

One of the most significant advantages of top-loading autoclaves is their ease of installation. Unlike front-loading autoclaves that require steam or exhaust connections, top-loading models only need to be plugged in and filled with water to start the sterilization process. This simplicity makes them an attractive choice for labs with limited infrastructure and resources.

Furthermore, top-loading autoclaves, such as the TOMY SX-Series, offer an affordable alternative in terms of high loading capacity for sterilizing bioreactors and fermentors. Their straightforward design translates to increased reliability and lower maintenance costs in the long run, making them a cost-effective investment for laboratories of all sizes.


Top-loading autoclaves are a practical and efficient solution for sterilizing bioreactors and fermentors in small laboratories, biotech start-ups, and breweries. Their vertical design, ease of use, and affordability make them a viable option for organizations seeking reliable sterilization without breaking the bank.

If you are interested in exploring the possibilities of TOMY SX-Series autoclaves and their compatibility with your bioreactor or fermentor, our team is ready to assist you. Reach out to us through our contact form, and one of our sales representatives will promptly respond to your queries.

Sterilization is the key to successful and contamination-free biotechnology and brewing processes, and with top-loading autoclaves, you can achieve the highest standards of cleanliness and efficiency in your laboratory operations.


For pricing and questions concerning TOMY SX-Series autoclaves and the compatibility of your bioreactor/fermentor,
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