The earliest incubators were "developed" more than a thousand years ago in China to keep chicken eggs warm. Advances in science abounded between then and the 1960's when modern, CO2 incubators were developed. But the science of CO2 in incubation has stayed fairly constant since then.
Standard incubation equipment provides technicians the ability to grow and study cultures because they can optimize temperature and humidity conditions for cell growth and maintain proper development. The inclusion of carbon dioxide (CO2) has only advanced the science.
Advances in in vitro fertilization (IVF) have expanded the demand for incubation equipment and services in the last 20 years. This dramatic growth in the market has also meant that incubator designers and manufacturers can used advanced technologies to create innovative new products and solutions for this growing customer demand.
The use of CO2 in incubators has also driven demand for quality, certified gases for these laboratories and clinics. And with gas comes the need to monitor.
CO2 Benefits in Incubation
Lets talk about the benefits of carbon dioxide in incubation applications.
Carbon dioxide is used in incubators to maintain the pH in the cell cultures. Combined with maintaining consistent temperature and humidity levels the CO2 is typically kept between 3-7% depending on the application and culture.
Labs and clinics are constantly monitoring and adjusting their desired levels in incubators to ensure accuracy and to insure extremely tight tolerances and specifications. Constant or occasional double checks of readings is an important portion of quality and tolerance controls.
But how do you check that your incubators are maintaining appropriate CO2 levels?
Importance of CO2 Monitoring
While many incubators have built-in CO2 monitoring in the design of the systems, third party verification is an important element in the accuracy of your incubators. CO2Meters CO2 Sampling Data Loggers are designed for this express purpose.
When dealing with overall pH levels of the cells, carbon dioxide levels must be measured and monitored daily to ensure the stability of the cell cultures.
The most commonly used devices among our cell biologists, embryologists, lab technicians, and pharmaceutical clients is the popular 10% CO2 Sampling DataLogger (CM-0010)
The CM-0010 is a portable, battery-powered sampling data logger, designed to measure carbon dioxide in enclosed environments or inaccessible areas, such as incubators.
After more than 3 years in service and with thousands sold worldwide the CM-0010 has proven to provide precise and accurate readings while utilizing its internal memory to record more than 60,000 points of data in memory.
Aside from just memory, the Data Logger's ability to measure at specific intervals, combined with its "pull through" sampling method of sensing means customers can log accurate and fast measurements as quickly as every five seconds.
Customers can sample the gas and eject it or they can create a closed-loop system to return the gas back to the chamber. Customers with newer, smaller desktop incubators prefer the closed loop method because the sampling does not effect the levels in the incubator.
While CO2Meter believes the CM-0010 is the perfect device for our customers the proof is in their satisfaction.
Additional Gas Monitoring
The RAD-0102-6 Remote CO2 Storage Safety Three Alarm Monitor ensures employees and students are kept safe from these potential hazards. Early detection and alerts have saved countless lives in these scientific facilities by alerting staff to the potential hazards of a CO2 leak.
Additionally, the facilities are also using liquid nitrogen for cooling and freezing of samples during "vitrification". Technicians can quickly freeze the eggs using the liquid nitrogen for long term storage. These samples are then stored in large tanks of liquid nitrogen until they are needed.
Yet, the storage and use of liquid nitrogen raises safety concerns too. Similarly to the safety concerns with stored cylinders or bulk CO2 tanks N2 storage would require a safety monitor as well to detect if the nitrogen has driven out oxygen to the point of human asphyxiation.
To ensure safety near stored N2 our Remote Oxygen Depletion Alarm (RAD-0002) can be used to detect the levels of oxygen in the room and will provide audible and visual alarms should the oxygen fall below acceptable levels.
By installing safety monitors and educating staff or employees on the potential risks that could occur in incubation or laboratory settings, you can ensure peace of mind and be able to save lives in the event of an emergency.