What are differences between sterilization and aseptic technique?


If you are confused about the difference between sterilization and aseptic techniques, then I will help you understand, although both terms sound like they can make your equipment very clean. However, the terms are not interchangeable, and there are significant differences between the two processes.

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In understanding the difference between sterilization and aseptic techniques, it is helpful to consider our goals in the laboratory environment, which involve microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria, parasites, spores and fungi.




If we want to eliminate all microbes from the system, we need to sterilize it. Sterilization destroys most everything in its path.




If we want to maintain the sterility of previously sterilized items or avoid contamination of the system with harmful microorganisms, we adopt aseptic techniques and use equipment that helps maintain a sterile environment.


It may be most helpful to think of sterilization as the first primary disinfection (whether by heat, radiation, chemicals, or pressure), and to think of aseptic techniques as all the processes we implement to maintain a sterile state over time.

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