The first Sterilizer Autoclave were stovetop models, affixed with valves and steam controls, along with a measuring system to get the right pressure and temperature. These primitive yet affective devices began the process of stopping infection in surgical procedures altogether. The steam was at 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius), and the pressure grew to about three atmospheres, so that organisms such as bacteria would simply burst and die and viruses would disintegrate.

This soon led to the Medical Autoclave. This front loading device had its own form of heat...the first being gas heat, later electricity and heated elements. The door was a tightly sealed affair with a locking handle. It was large enough to accompany many instruments at once, usually laid in metal trays prior to sterilization. Most of the sterilization was manual, so timing was essential.

The Plasma Sterilizer then began the process of streamlining. Simple electronics were introduced so regulate and monitor temperatures and pressure. The autoclave items are now wrapped in a temperature-sensitive paper, which changes color when sterilization is successful. Larger autoclaves were being developed in the 1960's, such that you could walk into them with the items needing to be cleaned.

Autoclaves now are computer-controlled and very efficient. Small ones are used in doctors' offices all over the world. Developing countries the world over now benefit from the autoclave, thus reducing infection in their patients. This leads to a healthy recovery.

Without the Hot Air Sterilizer, certain disciplines would have issues to overcome. Scientific laboratories that do research on harmful and beneficial organisms need sterile equipment to conduct their experiments aseptically. Contamination is also a problem with medical laboratories, which require sterile techniques in their testing regimen.