If you want to develop and provide optimum storage for your cell cultures properly, you must maintain the highest performance standards for your lab incubator. Decontamination, cleaning, proper usage, and calibration of an incubator keep it running efficiently. An efficient incubator maintains the required gaseous, humidity, and temperature levels. No matter the types of incubator, such as Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD), dual or single block, they have almost standard cleaning, operation, and calibration methods.
If your equipment is not working as it should or its calibration certificate has expired, contact us at Biotechnical Services Inc. for testing, maintenance, and incubator calibration in Los Angeles. We provide precise and accurate calibration of all types of lab incubators.
The procedure of Cleaning Your Incubator
Transfer Your Cell Culture to Another Incubator
Before cleaning your incubator, transfer your specimen to the next incubator to avoid contamination or getting your culture compromised during the process. When your incubator is empty, you can work on it with comfort and perform confident and thorough cleaning. The next step is to shut down your incubator and cut the gas supply off.
Remove The Shelves and Internal Components
For proper cleaning of your incubator, take out all the removable components. Empty your water dish and wipe it with a clean cloth to avoid shedding fibers and lint.
Clean The Internal Surfaces
Using a mild dish detergent or a botanical cleaner, clean all your incubator’s internal parts, including the shelves, ducts, shelf supports, door gaskets, and fan. Ensure that you remove all the residues, dirt, and dust. Rinse the interior surface and wipe using a dry cloth. When you have entirely wiped every component, disinfect the interior chamber with 70% alcohol to keep your incubator clean and eliminate any lingering disinfectant.
Turn The Incubator Heat On
Close the incubator door and turn the heat on. Closing the door ensures that the incubator does not attract dust and other contaminants again during the process. The heating process should take a few minutes only.
Turn On Automatic Decontamination
The decontamination cycle is meant to get rid of any fungi or bacteria. Once the process is complete, fill the sterile water into the water reservoir. Avoid using tap water because the tiny amount of chlorine can corrode the cooper or steel parts with time and introduce more minerals and bacteria. Ultra-pure or deionized water is not recommended because it is aggressive; ions may react with copper, steel, glass, and other components in your incubator.
Clean Incubator’s Exterior
Clean every exterior part of your incubator to prevent dust, dirt, and other contaminants from getting into your incubator when you open the door. When cleaning the exterior part of the incubator, use a lint-free cloth with soapy water. Wipe with a soft clean cloth and clear water before drying it with a dry cloth. Ensure that you thoroughly clean the door handles and places you mostly touch.
Operation of Lab Incubator
Before operating your incubator, ensure that it is clean and has no residue from the previous specimen. When you have ascertained that your incubator is clean, connect its plug to the power source. Press ON both on the main switch and the control panel. You should be able to see the temperature controller, incubator motor, internal displays, and the orange lamp turning on.
On the control panel, press ON on the heating switch; you will notice a green indicator lamp and dry heater. Scroll to your desired temperature on the temperature controller by pressing the decrement or the increment key. Once you have attained your required temperature, set the thermostat at about 5 degrees above the required temperature. The thermostat will cut the power off if the temperature exceeds the allowed 5 degrees before sounding an alarm. When your temperature is set, you will see a green digital on it and a red digital display of the actual temperature.
On your PC or printer, set the time interval for data communication. If necessary, switch on the fluorescent light and enter the temperature monitoring record before recording the incubator log details of your cell culture samples. Ensure that your incubator is kept away from a heating device.
Keep a record of temperature two times a day, i.e., early in the morning and later in the evening.
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Lab Incubator Calibration
Switch off your incubator and transfer your specimen to another incubator. Insert the thermal probes before removing the incubator cork from the validation porthole. After setting the temperature probes, switch on your incubator. Once your desired temperature is reached, start the data logger. Record the display temperatures and the data logger temperatures after about 10 or 15 minutes. You can monitor the sets of each temperature for about 2 to 3 hours. If you notice a temperature variation, adjust your incubator accordingly.
Proper cleaning, operation, and calibration of a lab incubator ensure that it runs smoothly and lasts longer. Always ensure that you frequently clean your incubator thoroughly for optimum growth of your cell cultures. Follow the standard operating procedures to ensure that your incubator is appropriately maintained. When your incubator has an error in temperature reading, contact us at Biotechnical Services Inc. for your incubator calibration in Los Angeles.