The Lab Associates media preparators have been developed with over 30 years of experience in the field of plant tissue culture. Some of the largest PTC laboratories in the world are using it to gain a competitive advantage. Our new steam-driven ‘Premium’ model is the fastest and most reliable large-volume media preparator on the market with its very short cycle time of only 30 minutes on a stand-alone basis¹. 

The main difference between media preparators and autoclaves is that the media sterilization process of a media preparator only takes one cycle of heating up and cooling down, where the process of an autoclave takes two cycles (first to dissolve agar in the water and other ingredients; second to sterilize the agar medium).

Vitamins and minerals are thermolabile, which means that the longer they are heated above a temperature of circa 60 degrees Celsius, the less there will be left in the medium. This is because vitamins and minerals will be broken down by the heat. A second disadvantage of a long heating process is that sugars will caramelize, which also compromises the quality of your medium.

¹Cycle time from 60° C, 15 minutes of sterilization at 121° C and back to 60° C.

Specs of our new premium media preparators

Caramelization of sugars and the effects of thermolability of vitamins and minerals are not only a disadvantage of autoclaves, but also of slow media preparators. A standard preparator takes around two to three hours to fully sterilize a large volume of agar medium. The new Lab Associates ‘Premium’ steam-driven media preparators take (on a standalone basis) only 30 minutes to complete the sterilization process, so considerably less grow stimulators will be lost. This will result in a very high quality agar medium, which will be much better for your plantlets. Research has shown that a very fast sterilized medium will not only increase the resistance against diseases of your plantlets, but will also reduce the growth cycle time of some and increase the multiplication factor of others.

The Lab Associates media preparators are very water and energy efficient, durable, reliable and built with only high quality components, that are very well balanced for optimal performance. They are also adjustable to every circumstance; every type of power supply and groundwater with different temperatures and salination.

During operation, the vessel will be held in constant overpressure to prevent contamination from outside the vessel. Another measure to prevent contamination is its magnetic stirring system; no opening with mechanical seal is required in the bottom or lid. When the sterilization process is finished, the medium will be transported to a dispensing unit, using sterile compressed air.

Some features of the ‘Premium’ media preparators:

  • Available in 50, 70, 100 and 150 liters
  • Extremely low maintenance and high durability
  • Built-in steam generator
  • Magnetic stirring mechanism (no mechanical seal)
  • Stainless steel compressed air valves instead of magnetic valves
  • All critical parts are made of stainless steel 316L and are completely sanitary
  • Constant overpressure to prevent contamination on the inside
  • Only high-quality certified parts are used
  • The inside of the vessel is made of high polished stainless steel 316L (easy to clean)
  • Built according to the European machine guidelines
  • Available with all required certificates (e.g. CE, PED, UL, ASME, Lloyd’s)

75 liters model of the premium media preparators

The ‘Premium’ media preparator.

PLC panel

  • Fully PLC controlled machine with capacitive glass touchscreen
  • Graphic display of all sterilization programs, processes and other relevant information
  • Automatic trigger and warning system for errors and defects
  • Graphs and statistics of all batches are saved and directly readable on the screen
  • Up to 9 different programs can be stored
  • Remote control with your PC, tablet and smartphone
  • The PLC can be read out from a distance via ethernet connection; enabling our technical service team to solve or assist you with most problems offsite

Magnetic stirring mechanism

The magnetic stirring mechanism is specifically designed to stir continuously at a very high speed, thereby creating a perfectly homogenous mixture and temperature throughout the whole medium. Our magnetic stirring mechanism doesn’t need a mechanical seal. Such a seal is very costly and a nursery for heat resistant bacteria, which is a huge problem for other media preparators.

Media preparator touch screen

Media preparator touch screen

Inside media vessel premium media preparator

The magnetic stirring mechanism of the ‘Premium’ media preparators.

Built-in steam generator

The Lab Associates media preparator has a built-in steam generator for a stand-alone process. Therefore, you don´t need an external source of steam with a high amount of pressure for a smooth sterilization process. The steam generator is part of a closed-loop energy system, making the machine very energy efficient as well.

The steam generator is also used to sterilize your dispensing tube. There is no need to take off this tube and sterilize it in a separate autoclave. This sterilization is part of the media preparator’s standard program and ensures that it takes place right before you have reached your desired dispensing temperature.

Certified parts

Lab Associates only uses high-quality certified components. The steam generator and the high pressure vessel are Lloyd’s certified (PED or ASME) and the machine is built according to the European machine guidelines (UL possible).

Lid detail premium media preparators

Lid of the ‘Premium’ media preparator.

Add-on options for the ‘Premium’ model:

  • Built-in compressor for compressed air (instead of using house air)
  • Semi-automated dispensing unit with optical cell
  • Well-dimensioned water systems (demi-water and/or reversed osmosis systems)
  • No-break power supply/UPS

Product brochure of the ‘Premium’ model:

Lab Associates – premium media preparator brochure (2018)


Key features Premium media preparator
Available volumes (in litres) 50, 70, 100 and 150 liter
Heating process Steam
Total sterilization process time (60 °C – 121°C – 60°C) incl. 15 min sterilization time at 121°C ca. 30-40 min (depending on the max. capacity)
Stirring mechanism Advanced
Error detection Yes
Extended detection Yes
pH check (at desired and hold temperature) Yes
Touchscreen control panel 10″ HD capacitive glass screen
Adjustable sterilization time, sterilization temperature, dispensing temperature Yes
Adjustable media programs Yes
Adjustable system Yes
Graphical representation of temperatures and pressures Yes
Graphical representation of batch durations Yes
Overview of historical process data (up to 4 weeks) Yes
4G / wifi connection Optional
Ethernet connection Yes
Administrator access Yes