The laboratory incubator is specialized equipment capable of maintaining a space with stable controlled conditions, conditions such as temperature, humidity, oxygen and CO2. They are insulated containers with adjustable heaters.
- Available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.
- The incubator shelves are usually perforated with small staggered holes to allow air flow.
- Includes a timer that can be programmable.
- Easy drive.
- Easy maintenance and cleaning.
- Some have a glass door that protects the shelves from contaminants or external substances.
- Standard incubators have a maximum temperature range of 80 to 100 ° C
- There are refrigerated incubators that handle temperatures close to or below 0 ° C.
The cultivation of microorganisms and cells is the main utility of the incubator in laboratories. Each bacterium, fungus and cell requires particular conditions to grow and maintain (be cultivated). For example, Escherichia coli is a bacterium that grows at a temperature of 37 ° C, while Streptococus pyogenes requires to be in an environment with 5% CO2 at 35 ° C for 24 hours, Helicobacter pylori must be cultivated in an environment of high humidity and at a temperature of 35 to 37 ° C, and for the cultivation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (beer yeast) a temperature of 30 ° C is necessary. So, to achieve effective growth, each organism requires a special and exclusive optimal environment. The incubator has the function of creating and maintaining that optimal environment, and has the ability to adjust the factors for each case.
It is also used in temperature-dependent incubations, such as storing blood samples, reagent storage, enzymatic reactions in experiments and investigations. Being useful for research laboratories, microbiology laboratories, and clinical laboratories.
The cultivation and study of microorganisms and cells is of great importance in diagnostic medical applications. Through this, it is possible to identify infectious disease-causing pathogens; the recognition of the agent and how it acts allows analysts and doctors to know which treatment will be more effective to attack them and guarantee the recovery and well-being of the patient. In addition, through research, more and more innovative treatment methods emerge that contribute not only to science, but also to society. The laboratory incubator is a piece of equipment that contributes enormously, thanks to its usefulness.