Maintenance Tip: Shakers & Rockers
Take care to avoid spills and sloshing by matching your labware with the rocking speed and pitch of your rocker or shaker. Too vigorous rocking may cause liquids to spill from low-profile, poorly covered containers. Such spills can create a nasty mess on the shaker’s surface or the benchtop. In a worst-case scenario, liquid can seep into the motor and ruin the shaker. Placing the motor and other critical inner workings within a liquid-proof enclosure eliminates this occurrence.
Will sensitivity to temperature changes influence which shaker should be used?
The temperature sensitivity of the samples will have a direct influence on the configuration of the shaker or rocker that is ideal. Water bath units complete with heating and cooling options, as well as incubator- style shakers are available. Either unit typically comes with a choice of mechanical or digital options for temperature control.
How does sample type affect which shaker or rocker will be best suited for the sample analysis needs?
The type of sample and requirements will play a pivotal role in the type of shaker which is best suited for the needs of the lab. If the needs are for general processes and mixing of liquids, then a basic model with mechanical dials and without heating or cooling can be used. For processes such as cell culturing, enzyme reactions, and growth studies, the purchase of an enclosed incubating shaker with more precise control may be the best fit. Alternatively, for those using microplate or micro-well samples, there are a variety of specialized models available to properly shake and incubate microplates.
Will time- or agitation-sensitive samples affect which type of shaker or rocker should be used?
With laboratories always increasing in scope and size, the ability to automate any process can free up technician and researcher time so they may accomplish other tasks. As a result of this, many modern shaker systems can be programmed to carry out specific shaking and heating patterns, depending on the needs of the samples and process.
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