Being free of contaminates that cause disease like bacteria, fungus and viruses. The term is used in medicine or surgery as a way to prevent infection like a sterile environment. However, it is impossible to be completely sterile as the patient will contaminate itself. The goal of Asepsis is to eliminate the possibility of infection.
The autoclave is a device that is used to sterilize surgical instruments and was invented by Ernst von Bergmann. Joseph Lister promoted antiseptic use with substances like carbolic acid which kills microbes, however, this practice can irritate tissues of the surgery site. It was Lawson Tait who introduced Asepsis as a practice of keeping the area of the surgery clean without using antiseptics on tissues themselves.