The Right Choice for CO2 Incubators

By Rachel Muenz

CO2 incubators are designed to copy a cell’s natural environment with a relative humidity of around 95 percent, a temperature of 37°C and a pH of 7.2 to 7.5. They are most common in biology labs performing tissue or cell culture and are used in any process where cells need to be cultured for a few hours or many weeks or where cells need to be expanded or maintained. Because incubator cleaning and operations must be validated in regulated work, CO2 incubators now offer very tight control over conditions within the instrument. When an incubator’s door is opened to remove or introduce samples, those conditions can quickly change, potentially damaging the viability or health of cells. However, many incubators on the market automatically begin re-equilibration of gas concentration and measure CO2 through infrared sensors to prevent such catastrophes. Cleaning is also extremely important in the maintenance of the incubator with heat or ultraviolet light being the traditional methods of disinfection. While effective, the downside of heat is that it is tough on the incubator’s materials of construction. And UV light, while also effective, sometimes leaves nooks and crannies contaminated as it works only on line of sight. Check with your vendor to learn which CO2 incubator is best for your lab.


  • Cell or tissue culture
  • Culturing pond water for the presence of E. coli, etc.
  • Cancer research
  • Protein synthesis
  • Stem cell research
  • In vitro fertilization
  • Vaccines
  • Genetic engineering

Thermo Scientific Heracell i Series CO2 Incubators
To meet the needs of researchers seeking precise physiological culturing conditions and the protection of 24/7 contamination prevention, Thermo Fisher Scientific announces the Heracell i range of CO2 incubators featuring variable oxygen control and solid 100 percent antimicrobial copper interiors. This range is suited to advanced applications in protocols that necessitate reduced oxygen concentrations.

  • Temperature resistant zirconium oxide O2 sensor technology with convenient auto-calibration capability
  • Includes natural bactericidal and fungicidal properties, always working
  • ContraCon™ high temperature cleaning cycle
  • Segmented inner glass door assembly speeds recovery and reduces operating costs
  • Exclusive iCAN touchscreen interface enables easy data input and access

Panasonic Sterisonic CO2 Incubator
The Sterisonic CO2 incubator from Panasonic is a complete cell culture carbon dioxide incubator for highly regulated applications like stem cell research, regenerative medicine and in vitro fertilization or conventional incubation. Unique features of the Sterisonic series include 3-hour H2O2 decontamination, achieved in situ with zero impact on adjacent equipment or the environment.

  • H2O2 decontamination system limits downtime to less than three hours
  • SafeCell UV ?ghts contamination while cell culture protocols are in process
  • Single-beam, dual detector infrared (IR2) sensor delivers precise CO2 control and quick recovery following door openings
  • Provides uniform chamber air temperature and fast temperature recovery

BINDER CB Series Hypoxia Incubator
BINDER CB series incubators provide excellent growth conditions for mammalian cell and tissue cultures, offering precise, reproducible control of oxygen concentrations as low as 0.2% and quick recovery times — important factors in conducting research under hypoxic conditions. Models CB 53, 150 and 210 (model numbers refer to chamber volume in liters) allow sample access via optional small internal doors.

  • Doors maintain steady CO2 and O2 levels and accelerate recovery
  • Minimizes the risk of contamination
  • Feature as standard a 180°C hot-air cycle that provides true sterilization
  • Includes integrated shelf-support system for easy cleaning

Categories: Lab Products

Published In

Saving Energy, Saving Money Magazine Issue Cover
Saving Energy, Saving Money

Published: April 1, 2012

Cover Story

Saving Energy, Saving Money

In 2002, when Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in Berkeley, California, decided to build the Molecular Foundry laboratory, they employed the help of Steve Greenberg, an in-house energy management engineer.