Optimal incubation temperatures are crucial for culturing microorganisms and obtaining accurate DST results. If these temperatures aren’t maintained, cultures may not grow, and DST tests can yield false negative results.
When years of research and millions of dollars are on the line, mistakes cannot be made when shipping temperature-sensitive specimens. A cold portable incubator can help ensure the cold chain is intact for your essential shipments.
From hatching chicken eggs to testing vaccines and medical diagnostics, labs use incubators to maintain the correct temperature for their research. Incubators are also used to transport temperature-sensitive items, like pharmaceuticals and chemicals.
Unlike conventional incubators, which require continual power to maintain the correct temperature, the cooling system in a chilled incubator can maintain the ideal temperature even during a power outage. This is particularly important in low-resource settings where a loss of electricity can cause cultures to grow slowly or die, leading to false-negative DST results.
Some incubators use a compressor to chill, while others use Peltier devices. The advantage of using a Peltier-based incubator is that it does not use refrigerants, making it safer and more energy-efficient for the environment. Additionally, incubators with a Peltier-based cooling system are quieter than traditional models. Other features to consider include internal doors and access ports that allow researchers to work inside the chamber without affecting the temperature.
While temperature is the most critical variable when incubating, humidity can be challenging to monitor and control. Humidity refers to the amount of water vapor in the air and can be affected by many factors, such as temperature, evaporation, condensation, etc.
The best way to monitor your incubator’s humidity level is to use a hygrometer, which can be purchased cheaply. You should always check and calibrate your hygrometer annually.
It is also a good idea to keep the incubator away from areas with too high moisture levels, such as kitchens and bathrooms. Alternatively, you can invest in an incubator with direct steam humidification, which will reduce water loss through evaporation. However, it is still a good idea to check the humidity levels regularly and ensure that the vent on the incubator is open. This will prevent the incubator from drying out and creating an environment where bacteria can grow.
Incubators provide a stable environment for cell growth, bacterial culturing, and many other lab tests. They use Peltier technology to generate energy without chemical refrigerants, making them environmentally friendly. These incubators are also insulated to keep temperatures constant. This is important because temperature variations can affect sample results. If temperatures drop too low, it may inhibit cell growth or cause sensitive proteins to denature, and if they rise too high, it could be a sign of overheating.
Local personnel typically open the incubator door and swap out sample vials and bottles several times per day, and these short-duration openings may drop the chamber’s temperature. A cooled incubator’s thermoelectric device can recover from these temperature drops quickly. However, they can’t be as effective at maintaining temperatures as a compressor-powered incubator. In addition to the refrigerated incubator, you’ll need to consider contamination control measures like air filtration and copper interiors to ensure your experiments are accurate and safe.
The temperature accuracy capabilities of a chilled incubator enable the accurate measurement and documentation of sample temperatures to meet method requirements. The incubator design utilizes a thermoelectric Peltier device for cooling, avoiding refrigerants and resulting in a more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly incubator.
Laboratory personnel should be cautious when opening the incubator door as frequent movements could negatively affect temperature uniformity and result in a plus/minus value on the test report. Choosing an incubator with internal doors and ports to reduce the number of times the door needs to be opened minimizes this issue and ensures more consistent results.
Incubators are often used to analyze reagents that are not stable at room temperature or for proteins with unique structural characteristics. A chilled portable incubator allows these samples to be transported without losing quality. It is essential for the cold chain to maintain its integrity as close to 200 billion dollars worth of pharmaceuticals are shipped annually, and any deviation in temperature could render them ineffective or even harmful.