What Are The Different Types Of Incubators?


Incubators are the most common laboratory chamber.

Need an incubator? Incubators provide a controlled, protective setting for cell, tissue cultures and others samples that require a contamination-free contained environment. From general purpose and refrigerated to BOD and shaking incubators, each have features to meet your exact needs. Many are equipped with see-through doors to view the entire chamber without opening the door and affecting temperature stability. If you have limited space or would like an incubator for personal use, then a compact incubator is ideal for areas where bench space is limited or small-volume applications are the norm. Learn the different types of incubators and their unique features below:

Types of incubators

  • General-purpose incubators include mechanical (or forced) convection which feature a fan for strong air dispersion and uniformity; and gravity (or natural) convection for an environment with low airflow turbulence.
  • Carbon dioxide incubators create an optimal simulation of the natural cellular growth environment.
  • Refrigerated incubators are ideal for biological oxygen demand (BOD) and chemical oxygen demand (COD) determinations, cell and bacterial cultures, and other applications requiring a controlled environment below and above ambient temperatures.
  • Shaking incubators provide agitation and eliminate the need for additional equipment while also saving space. Use these for liquid cultures and washing blots.
  • BOD incubators or low-temperature incubators produce precise temperature control for biochemical oxygen demand applications.

Cole-Parmer® incubators


Gravity and mechanical convection incubators

The Cole-Parmer gravity and mechanical convection incubators feature a corrosion-resistant stainless steel interior and powder-coated steel plate exterior. The inner chamber has rounded corners for easy cleaning. Antiskid shelf design is easy to operate with a single hand. Each incubator includes stainless steel wire shelves with mounting brackets.


Cole-Parmer INC-250 series mini CO2 digital incubator

The mini digital temperature and CO2 control incubators are only 13 inches wide, small enough to fit in most biological safety cabinets, conserving valuable bench space. A thick layer of high-efficiency insulation and a 12 VDC car adapter make this incubator ideal for transporting cells. The unit can maintain set temperature levels within 10% for up to one hour after power has been disconnected.

View our complete selection of incubators.

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