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Clever Cell Incubators

The smart CO₂ incubators from the Chinese company Haier Biomedical allow cells to be cultivated under ideal conditions. The process requires high temperatures beforehand to create a sterile environment — meaning that heat-resistant components are necessary.


In many laboratories, CO₂ incubators have long since become a standard piece of equipment — whether for incubating human skin cells for skin transplants or for cultivating stem cells in the fight against cancer. The inconspicuous cabinets are an important tool for medical research and have become an indispensable part of many experiments.

High-tech cell division

The incubators are also used in the Chinese National Stem Cell Resource Bank. Their manufacturer, Haier Biomedical based in Qingdao, thought of everything that is needed for successfully cultivating cells. And it is quite a lot. After all, cells like a warm, humid, and slightly alkaline environment to be able to divide.

This is why the CO₂ incubators from Haier Biomedical’s HCP series have an intelligent heating system that uses a total of 27 sensors to measure the inside temperature. If one area is too cold, the heating system reacts immediately and makes targeted adjustments through the individual inner walls. As a result, the heat in the incubators is constant, with minimal fluctuations of 0.3 degrees Celsius. The air humidity also remains at a consistently high level. Here, floor heating controls how much water evaporates from a tank and rises into the incubation chamber.

Infrared control sensors, in turn, ensure the perfec pH value in the incubators. These measure the CO₂ content in the air and make adjustments in the event of deviations. This means the pH value in the incubators is uniform and in a slightly alkaline range — the perfect conditions for many cells. And this remains the case, even if you open the door briefly. This is because the sensors detect changes immediately and restore the optimum conditions again within a few minutes.

Dry heat to prevent germs

However, the best conditions are no help if germs also multiply alongside the cells, thereby distorting experiments. For this reason, the incubators have a self-cleaning option before use. The interiors of the CO₂ incubators from Haier Biomedical are cleaned at the touch of a button using dry heat at 180 degrees Celsius. So stubborn germs do not stand a chance. This all means the Chinese company’s incubators are particularly sterile — even in comparison with the competition, which relies on less effective UV sterilization, for example.

But sterilization at high temperatures also poses a challenge: the sensitive components of the incubator need heat protection. This also applies to the VDC 43.10 external rotor motor from ­ebm-papst, which in conjunction with a removable fan wheel ensures the air circulates in the CO₂ incubator. The EC motor is therefore equipped with a long stainless steel shaft and a Teflon-sealed ball bearing. The motor and fan wheel still run very quietly, making them perfect for a laboratory where scientists are concentrating on their experiments.

Digital cell monitoring

On the topic of concentration — the CO₂ incubators from Haier Biomedical make the scientists’ day-to-day laboratory work easier in another way. The company’s incubators can be operated using a touch display and be integrated into the Internet of Things, for example. This means that the incubators independently transmit data to a central computer for evaluation or report problems with the cell supply. The smart incubators can therefore also be monitored and controlled remotely using an app. This enables the lead scientist to check from home whether their long-term experiment is still running. This is not only good for science, but also good for all of us. Because we benefit with our health from the progress and findings in research. 

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