The Basics of Laboratory Incubators

new brunswick incubator

What is a Laboratory Incubator?

Incubators are storage devices used to provide a sterile and controlled environment for a number of laboratory applications, such as cell and tissue cultures, growth and storage of bacterial cultures, and much more.

The History of the Laboratory Incubator

The first laboratory incubators originated in the second half of the 20th century when scientists realized the devices could be used to identify pathogens in bodily fluids. Samples were transferred to a Petri dish and then placed into an incubator, which heats to body temperature – approximately 98.6 °F/37 °C. Then, the incubator emits the needed amount of CO2 or N2 for cell growth, which causes any present bacteria to multiply, thus making it much easier for scientists to identify the existing organism(s).

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Types of Incubators

  • Gassed (CO2)
  • Non-Gassed (Microbiological)
  • Different Styles

  • Dry Bath Incubators (Single or Dual Blocks)
  • Shaking Incubators
  • Bioreactors
  • Hybridization Ovens
  • Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD)
  • Various Lab Test Chambers

Questions to Ask to Determine the Incubator for Your Needs

  • What size/capacity is needed for your applications?
  • How many samples will you be incubating at one time?
  • What temperature, humidity, and CO2 ranges do you need?
  • Is a water source required?
  • Are you looking for a water-jacketed design or air-jacketed?
  • Control options for CO2 models: thermal conductivity detection or infrared sensors?
  • Do you need any additional features such as an integrated touch screen display, programmable alarm, data storage, and/or removable shelves?

In the market for a pre-owned laboratory incubator?

EquipNet carries a range of pre-owned equipment. Our exclusive contracts with our clients yield a range of used laboratory incubators from a number of respected OEMs, including New Brunswick Scientific, Caron, Thermo Scientific, Binder, Sanyo, and many other manufacturers. View our inventory of lab incubators here or contact us today for more information.



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