Autoclaves are pressure chambers that utilize steam and pressure for sterilizing the materials. Autoclaves are of two types: downward displacement autoclaves and vacuum-assisted autoclaves. The products maintain extreme conditions for an extended time period. Because of the intense pressure and heat, microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other parasites and their spores that can cause infections cannot survive. Autoclaves are used to decontaminate some types of biological wastes, sterilize reusable tools, glassware, pipette tips, plastic tubes, attenuated vaccine, surgical instruments such as needles, and tools used by dentists, and to inactivate medical wastes containing pathogens before their disposal.

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