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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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