What are the top questions to ask before buying a CO2 Incubator?
In a recent survey of laboratory technicians it showed that 54% were currently engaged in purchasing a new CO2 incubator for their lab(s), with 31% updating existing equipment and 30% looking to add on to an existing system and to increase lab capacity.
Given these statistics it would be all too easy to purchase the same unit you already have, or that you previously had; and while this might work well for your laboratory needs, it might not be the optimal unit you need.
With 72% of CO2 Incubators used for research in tissue or cell culture you want to make sure that your unit holds up when cells need to be cultured for a few hours, many weeks, or where cells need to be expanded or maintained.
Here are the 8 most important questions you should be asking yourself before you buy:
- Have measures been taken in the design or features of the Incubator to avoid and remove contamination? If so, what are they?
- What size capacity do you require in your lab, and do you require a benchtop or floor orientation?
- Temperature controls vary. Do you need direct heat, water jacketed or air jacketed?
- How would a CO2 sensor contribute to optimal cell growth?
- How would a Humidity control contribute to optimal cell growth?
- Ask for the uniformity and accuracy data instead of asking for a water or air jacket.
- Do you need O2 control, which can help simulate a specific environment for your experiment?
- Do you know the total annual cost of running your incubator? Look at product price, cost of regular cleaning labor and material/accessories such as HEPA filters, etc.
 Lab Manager CO2 incubator survey results, April 10th 2018