High-Tech Autoclave Install in Germfree Mobile Laboratory

Arthur Trapotsis
Written by: Arthur Trapotsis

MS Biochemical Engineering, MBA, Consultant

Consolidated Sterilizer Systems is excited to announce a sophisticated new installation: Our PT-SSR-2A BSL-3 Series Steam Sterilizer is now in a Germfree Modular Laboratory.

germfree2About Germfree: Germfree is a company that develops completely integrated, high-containment laboratory solutions in shipping containers, truck beds, and modular buildings. These mobile labs are transported across the globe in shipping containers and reassembled upon arrival. Germfree laboratories help grow healthcare and research in places that lack the infrastructure to support highly technical laboratories. 

About the CSS Installation: The mobile laboratory that features a Consolidated autoclave (pictured below) was sent to the Caribbean to promote local healthcare initiatives. This particular autoclave configuration was highly customized to meet the unique needs of this particular Germfree mobile lab, including throughput specifications and space restrictions.



Specifically, this mobile lab was designed to meet the strict requirements of a Biosafety Level 3 facility. A BSL-3 laboratory handles microbes and pathogens that may cause serious disease through inhalation. (For more on this subject, check out the 5th Edition of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories).


Autoclaves in BSL-3 facilities must incorporate specific features:

  • Double Door (Pass-Thru) Configuration—BSL-3 autoclaves are typically supplied as pass-thru units (door on both sides of the chamber) so that harmful biological agents can be researched on a containment side, sterilized, and passed through to a “clean side” for disposal.
  • Bioseal—The autoclave must be equipped with a biological cross-contamination barrier flange seal (BiosealTM). The flange is constructed from stainless steel and is fully welded around the perimeter of the autoclave chamber to provide an airtight connection. A closed-cell gasket secures the seal and prevents microbes from crossing into the non-contained “clean side.” (In this particular installation, Consolidated was required to fabricate a customized Bioseal plate to fit within the confined space of the mobile lab).
  • Interlocking Doors—This feature prevents the sterilizer door from being opened on the non-contained side until completion of a sterilization cycle. In order to maintain a proper barrier seal at all times, interlocking doors also prevent both doors from being opened simultaneously.
  • Dual Controls—The autoclave is supplied with two touchscreen controls: one mounted on each end of the unit for operation from within or outside the containment area. This feature allows users within the contained area to start and stop cycles, thereby enabling a more efficient workflow process.
  • Effluent Decontamination System—Exclusively from Consolidated, the effluent decontamination system supplied with this autoclave traps bacteria within the autoclave chamber and sterilizes it prior to release into the drain (a Consolidated patented process). Any liquid effluent is held in the chamber for the duration of the sterilization cycle. All aerosol effluent passes through a 0.2 micron hydrophobic HEPA filter.


In addition to BSL-3 facility requirements, this particular Germfree mobile lab also presented a challenging footprint in which to place the autoclave. The designated space for the autoclave was extremely confined, which required compact plumbing arrangements and frame design. However, because Consolidated Sterilizer Systems builds all of our units to order, this specific need, among others, was seamlessly accommodated.

As our project finished up, we were extremely proud to see one of our Consolidated Sterilizer System BSL-3 Lab Sterilizers successfully installed in this incredibly unique Germfree facility. Now our hope is that this autoclave will help improve the overall healthcare initiatives and research capabilities of the Caribbean people it will be serving.

Special Note: Germfree has also recently installed a mobile laboratory in Nigeria (capable of operating during sub-Saharan sandstorms) and a BSL-3 lab in East Asia that was assembled in just 21 days! Check out this video to see the work in progress.

For more on CSS autoclaves, contact us today! 

Biosafety Level Checklist & Common Microbe Guide

Learn everything there is to know about biosafety level lab practices, safety procedures, facility construction requirements and more – including common microbes found at each level.

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Biosafety Level Checklist & Common Microbe Guide