Operating a health facility requires many tools unique to your line of practice. You might be into medical training, research, and development, or you might have to run a test lab. All these have special equipment for their specific needs, although they share one or two equipment needs.
Part of laboratory infrastructure development includes availing all essential equipment and ensuring it is fully functional. Here are crucial lab tools you should consider having in your facility.
Cell Culture Incubator
Also known as a CO2 incubator, cell culture incubator supports the growth of tissue culture cells by providing the required conditions of temperature, humidity, and a CO2 atmosphere. The cell incubator is an essential piece of equipment in research and development laboratories.
Most cell incubators have a temperature range of 4-50 degrees Celsius and a relative humidity range of between 95% and 98%. The incubators feature password-protected programmable controls, CO2, temperature, and door alarms for enhanced convenience and security.
A water bath is crucial to virtually any laboratory. As its name suggests, this piece of equipment uses heated water to incubate samples at a constant temperature over a long time. It has a digital or analog interface to help the user to set the desired temperature. A water bath can also help to warm reagents or melt substrates. It can also incubate cell cultures or heat flammable chemicals at high temperatures. A water bath accommodates an optimum temperature of 99.9 °C.
An autoclave is simply a steam sterilizer. The term “sterilizer” is used in the medical and pharmaceutical fields, while “autoclave” typical in other laboratories. It is used to sterilize instruments and laboratory tools. Its sterilization technique relies fundamentally on steam and pressure. Autoclaves come in all sizes and have a diverse range of features.
Once the load being sterilized is placed in the airtight vessel, water is heated to the boiling point, and pressure builds up as the water continues to evaporate. Different loads require different time to sterilize. Hence, it doesn’t have a fixed duration of the operation. Autoclaves are essential for every laboratory.
Also known as a chemical fume hood, a fume cabinet help protect the laboratory user and, subsequently, the environment from hazardous fumes. Experiments and reactions bound to emit harmful fumes should take place in the fume cabinet, which ensures that the exhaust fumes are expelled from the lab.
Additional functions of the fume cabinet include spill containment and protection from possible explosions. A fume cabinet is an essential part of laboratory infrastructure that can never be overlooked, especially in a laboratory dealing with chemicals and highly reactive elements.
In the end, depending on the nature of your laboratory, essential equipment can vary. Therefore, it will always be impossible to come up with a checklist that fits every laboratory. However, as a professional, you should always ensure that you pay attention to the essential items in your lab. Essential equipment will ensure you are safe and that your experiments are accurate and friendly to the environment.