Unlike heating-only incubators, refrigerated incubators can heat to low temperatures and relax using a compressor or a Peltier device. They’re perfect for bacterial and mammalian cell culture, BOD testing, and other lower-temperature work.
These incubators also have observation windows that allow users to see samples without opening the doors and contaminating them. They are also energy-saving and feature power-outage compensation.
Temperature control is critical for an incubator. Look for a model with a digital thermostat that will provide more accurate temperature readings than analog units.
Incubators with circulating fans optimize the uniformity of temperatures in the chamber. They can also help reduce temperature recovery times after the door is opened.
Look for a design that prevents dust accumulation in the heat exchanger assembly. Dust can increase the unit’s thermal resistance and make it harder to maintain a set temperature.
Look for rounded interior surfaces that will be easier to sterilize and clean. This will help keep your samples free from contamination and bacteria. In addition, look for a programmable refrigerated incubator that allows you to customize settings to meet your specific workflow. This will ensure you get the best results.
The humidity levels inside incubators can be challenging to maintain. To ensure that the samples are not drying out, it is essential to have an accurate humidification system. Most incubators have water pans or atomizers that help humidify the chamber.
The water pans must be filled, and the atomizers must be cleaned regularly to avoid contamination. Humidity levels need to be tested periodically, as well.
It is also essential to know that some measurement sensors in incubators can be damaged by certain cleaning, wiping, and sterilization methods. Therefore, as the manufacturer directs, validating and calibrating the equipment regularly is critical. In addition, using a decontamination cycle suited to the incubator type and application is essential.
A science incubator protects delicate samples like embryos and cell cultures from environmental factors that can disrupt the experiment. They also provide stable, measured conditions that can be reproduced.
Some incubators have solid doors, while others include an observation window. The latter allows users to view samples without opening the door, which reduces contamination risks and ensures temperature stability and uniformity.
Look for a large window and a light inside the incubator to create an ideal viewing environment. Also, look for rounded interior edges, making sterilizing the incubator easier. Lastly, select an incubator that uses forced air convection instead of gravity convection to ensure optimal heat distribution and minimize temperature fluctuations in the chamber. These features are critical for many applications, such as plant germination and environmental testing.
Many general-purpose natural convection incubators utilize a simple fiberglass insulation that allows heat to naturally move to more excellent areas based on the laws of physics. However, this can result in temperature fluctuations over time.
Fortunately, some manufacturers have developed incubators that use an electric coil and compressor-based system to distribute heat throughout the chamber proportionally. Combined with a heater PID microprocessor and an on/off feed-forward function, this ensures precision temperature control without requiring excessive power consumption.
Another great feature to look for in a refrigerator incubator is forced convection. This type of air circulation helps prevent moisture buildup that can lead to corrosion and degrade mechanical components. This is especially important in high-humidity environments where condensation can quickly degrade the performance of mechanical parts.
A locked incubator prevents unauthorized access to samples. This feature is ideal for laboratory and hospital settings where strict security is necessary to protect sensitive cultures.
A delayed alarm allows for time to pass before the incubator temperature goes into a panic. The temperature can take a while to return to the set point after the door is opened, so a delay is essential to minimize potential damage to cultures.
Some advanced incubators offer a fan that circulates warmed air, known as a forced air incubator. This eliminates hot or cold spots within the box that can cause fertilized eggs to hatch unevenly. It also keeps the temperature more consistent than basic models. This type of incubator can save labs time, money, and stress.