Because the ALZET pump is designed to contain solutions for as long as six weeks (depending on the model) at 37°C, any microorganisms present in the loading solution may grow, metabolize, and alter the composition of the test solution. This risk is higher if the solution contains materials such as proteins that are potential substrates for microorganisms. For this reason, all solutions loaded into the pumps should be sterile.
Use the following guidelines to minimize interior contamination of the pumps:
- Prepare solutions using sterile laboratory ware.
- Prevent particulate contamination during loading of test solutions by using a bacterial filter attached to the filling syringe. Suitable filters are available from Millipore Corporation.
- The filling needles supplied with the pump have been exposed to a sterilizing dose of radiation from a 60Co source, and care should be taken not to contaminate them.