Hand held microbial air samplers are portable and lightweight but also extremely reliable.
They use readily available contact plates, with no need for expensive, specialist culture media. Models that use Petri dishes are also available.
Originally developed in Italy over thirty years ago, these units are now sold worldwide. Their portability makes them ideal for a wide range of applications where reliable environmental monitoring is required across many different areas.
These air samplers are typically used for indoor air monitoring in lower grade and higher grade cleanrooms, food premises, isolators, LAF cabinets and operating theatres.
General indoor air monitoring
For use in lower grade cleanrooms and food premises. 100 litres per minute sampled. Weighs: 1.8 - 2kg. Dimensions: 304 x 104 x 110mm
Specialist indoor air monitoring
For use in higher grade cleanrooms, isolators, LAF cabinets and operating theatres. 180 litres per minute sampled. Weighs 1.8 - 2kg. Dimensions: 304 x 104 x 110mm
Dual indoor microbial monitor
For use in higher grade cleanrooms, isolators, LAF cabinets and operating theatres. Two sampling heads sample 180 litres per minute each, collecting bacterial and fungal samples simultaneously. Weighs: 2.9 - 3.3kg. Dimensions: 365 x 280 x 110mm
Typical requirements suggest 1,000 litres per air sample in high risk areas, such as: grade A filling lines, grade B clean rooms, operating theatres etc. As the criticality of the area reduces, the sample size can be reduced. The aim is to achieve a representative sample; so where higher counts would be expected, a smaller sample produces a more realistic number of cfu to count.
SAS samplers were originally designed for Contact plates, however, a Petri dish option has been available for a number of years. It is really a personal choice, although this should be decided at time of purchase, as the sampler will be specifically configured for the plate type chosen. There are advantages for each version and we would be happy to discuss your specific needs.
No, do not put your SAS sampler in a steam autoclave. The only part that can be autoclaved is the drilled head. The unit can be wiped with alcohol wipes to decontaminate it. The only other exception is the SAS Pinocchio, parts of which can be autoclaved.
Cherwell Laboratories recommends every 12 months and we will send a reminder for the month it is due. For some situations local procedures demand more frequent recalibrations so Cherwell is happy to offer tailored recalibration date labelling and reminders on request.
The sterility of the packaged medium is assured and all but the outer layer of packaging is also sterile. Thus the risk to the environment to be sampled is greatly reduced. There is an additional benefit that the additional packaging and process extends the room temperature shelf life. This can be sufficient reason for small or irregular users to prefer irradiated.
Settle plates are used to monitor the level of viable particles in the environment through a process of passive air sampling. A viable particle settles on agar plates at a rate dependent on its characteristics and the airflow in the environment.
EU GMP Guide Annex 1 has recommended that 90mm settle plates can be exposed in cleanroom environments for up to 4 hours. However, agar plates may dry out during long exposures where the rate of air exchange is high. So, it might be necessary to use deep filled settle plates, or replace the settle plate after a shorter time to ensure satisfactory growth promotion after exposure.
The storage condition for the majority of our prepared media is Ambient not exceeding 25ºC, the exception being a couple of very specialist products.
We have never specified storage in a fridge for our general media as this causes excessive condensation and can result in a very wet agar surface. This makes the product impossible to use.
General purpose media have nutrients that support the growth of most non fastidious culturable microorganisms. Selective growth media contain components that will inhibit the growth of some types of microorganisms, while supporting the growth of others.
General purpose media, such as Tryptone Soya Agar, are used to produce total counts. While selective media, such as XLD for Salmonella species, are used to test presence/absence of specific types of microorganism.