Sterilization refers to any process which kills or eliminates various forms of agents such as bacteria, fungi, virus, etc. present on a surface or a liquid content in a laboratory. Sterilization can be achieved through a number of procedures including high pressure, filtration, irradiation, etc. A sterile environment is necessary in most of the medical laboratory in order to avoid ruined samples and cloudy culture media. Various micro-organisms and transmissible agents are present on the surface of medical equipment and biological culture media in the laboratory and sterilization helps to make these equipment and media contaminant-free.
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Based on type, the laboratory sterilizers market can be segmented as follows:
Heat sterilizers: In heat sterilization, the equipment or culture media which are to be sterilized are placed in a steel container and exposed to high temperature. Various types of heat sterilizers include:
- Hot air oven
- Bunsen burner
- Glass bead strilizer
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Chemical sterilizers: Chemical sterilization involves the usage of a range of chemical agents for the purpose of sterilization. Various class of chemical agents used in the procedure are as follows:
- Alcohols: ethyl, isopropyl, etc.
- Aldehydes: formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, etc.
- Metallic salts
- Gases: ethylene oxide, betapropiolactone, etc.
Radiation sterilizers: The gamma radiations are used to kill microorganisms present in various medical equipment and related products. The prime advantage of such sterilization process is that the media is available immediately after sterilization
Filtration sterilizers: Filtration allows the elimination of microorganisms based upon their size. The most common type of filtration sterilization technique is membrane filtration in which contaminants larger than the pore size on the surface of the membrane is trapped. This method is mainly used for heat sensitive media.
Based on geography, the laboratory sterilizers market can be segmented into four major regions: North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Rest of the World (RoW). Out of these, North America holds a leading position in the market followed by Europe. The prime factors which have augmented the growth of laboratory sterilizers market in these regions are rise in safety processes in various research laboratories and increasing number of surgeries, which would consequently increase the demand for contaminant-free instruments. Moreover, certain stringent rules made by the government for various research laboratories to sterilize instruments after each and every use is also driving the growth of laboratory sterilizers market. Asia Pacific is one of the most promising markets for the growth of laboratory sterilizers market due to the presence of large population base and skilled workforce. The advantageous factors which would propel the growth of the market in Asia Pacific are increasing number of research laboratory units, and increasing drug preparation in emerging economies which requires highly sterilized culture media. Furthermore, large patient pool, rise in disposable income and certain tax benefits would also boost the growth of laboratory sterilizers market in the coming few years.
Rapid technological innovation in research and microbiology is offering wide scope for highly accurate and safe sterilizers. Some of the top players operating in the laboratory sterilizers market are Advanced Sterilization Products Services, Inc., Cantel Medical Corp., Getinge Group, Belimed AG, STERIS Corporation, SAKURA SI CO., LTD., Nordion, Inc., Kimberley-Clark Corporation and others.