There may be a world where our pump heads are autoclavable

Hello! For those adventurous to try it: I think the pump heads (the plastic and silicone tubing) are autoclavable. At least, after a few spins in our autoclave at ~121C, the heads came out fine. Caveat emptor: this may reduce the lifespan of the inner tubing, or change calibrations, or explode if air is trapped (though we haven’t seen any of these yet)!

We are going to keep trying here in our lab space, and measure any changes to the pumps. But this is something interesting to keep an eye on!


We ran some more tests, and the effect on calibration seems to be pretty okay! For example, a fresh pump (right out of the box) had the calibration slope of 0.0861. After three autoclave cycles of 5m each, we reran the calibration routine, and the new slope was 0.0840.

With another pump: pre-autoclave slope was 0.0822, and post 3x autoclave slope was 0.0780.

What is left to test is if autoclaving damages the ability of the tubing to “pinch” together in the pump head. Without that pinch, you could have poor performance or back flow.

For users who wish to replace the inner pump head tubing, note that it is different than the exterior tubing, and only slightly less easy to source.

Interior tubing dimensions: 1/8" OD, 1/32" ID
Exterior tubing dimensions: 1/8" OD, 1/16" ID

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