How to Select an Incubator


Five questions to help you choose the right incubator for your needs

Incubators are used for growing a variety of life forms. Fruit flies, fish eggs, bacteria and virus are just a few of the things grown in incubators. An essential research tool, general-purpose incubators are probably some of the most frequently used controlled temperature devices found in the laboratory.

Review these five questions to help you select an incubator:

What temperature do you need to control?

Incubators are available in non-refrigerated incubators. The lowest temperature a “heat only” incubator can reach is +5°C above ambient.

How uniform must chamber temperature be?

Temperature uniformity is affected by both the type of temperature control used and the heat convection technique. Temperature uniformity is generally better in incubators using microprocessor temperature controllers and/or mechanical convection.

How large must the chamber be?

Naturally, the larger the chamber, the greater the external dimensions as well, so it’s always a good idea to also determine if there are any external size restrictions before making a specific recommendation.

How fully is the chamber loaded?

In general, mechanical convection models are recommended if the chamber is going to be loaded to 50% or more of capacity because there is greater heated airflow within the chamber. Heated air moves between samples to provide optimal temperature uniformity.

How sensitive are the samples to airflow?

Gravity/natural convection models are best suited for heating samples which are sensitive to airflow.

Related Articles

What Are The Different Types Of Incubators?


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