Clinical laboratories are an important part of health care industry. A clinical laboratory further has many sections like microbiology, pathology, haematology, etc. In fact, microbiology labs are very important in some industries for testing the sanity of the products, especially in consumables and pharmaceuticals. Such small and medium scale companies often outsource their testing job to local laboratories, because these lab equipment cost huge to quality management department of the company. Due to cost factors, it becomes important to choose every device carefully.
Commonly used devices in a clinical lab
Apart from patient care, microbiology industry also has the responsibility of conducting research for medical advancements and understanding the safety prospects. Further development of advance technologies for surveillance of diseases.
Microscopes – This is the commonest and widely used device in every lab, be it R&D, educational, healthcare or industrial lab. Our dependency on the microscopes has increased so much that we certainly cannot assume studies without this device. To study the bacterial behaviour and cellular behaviour, they need to be enlarged which is possible with microscopes only, till date. In a microscope, the specimen is enlarged to multiple sizes and observed with the help of incident light incorporated within the device.
BOD Incubator – This device is used to incubate the microorganism to understand their reproduction rate. It’s a must needed machine to study the tissue and cell culture. It achieves and maintains an environmental condition inside the chamber for the microorganisms to sustain. These are double walls units to maintain the acquired conditions for a longer time, this is what it is meant. Equipped with fans to maintain the uniformity in the temperature so that it can support the culturing efficiently. Apart from microbiological uses, BOD incubator is widely used in the industry. In food consumables, it is very important to assess how bacterial is growing and how rapidly it is multiplying when the temperature rises. This study is crucial as it tells the manufacturer to take appropriate measure to avoid contamination.
Hot Air Oven – Also called dry sterilisers, this machine is widely used for drying and sterilising the lab accessories like Petri dishes, funnels, test-tubes, pipets etc. After wet-cleaning of the accessories, to avoid any chances of contamination, they are dry sterilised in the hot air oven. This machine has a chamber to place the articles. The temperature of the chamber can be set up to 250°C, the fans maintain the uniform temperature throughout. Due to high temperature, the air inside develops a circular motion. Upon heating the air becomes lighter and goes towards the ceiling of the chamber and comes back down after collision, this creates air circulation inside.
Laminar Air flow bench – This machine is used to create a contamination-free environment for the specimen to be observed. In labs is essential to create contamination free environment as samples are very sensitive to dust, moisture, temperature and other factors. This Laminar airflow bench helps in creating a protective cabinet where samples to be tested can be kept. It is equipped with HEPA filter. The air is drawn through this filter and circulated in a laminar flow. This equipment is crafted very carefully with a stainless steel body with no joints. As joints have a tendency to support the bacterial collection and growth. There are multiple varieties of this equipment providing different types of air flow and configurations like vertical and horizontal.
What is HEPA Filter?
High-Efficiency Particulate Air Filter. This air filter is made in such a way that it absorbs the minute particles very easily. As per the standards, these air filters have the capability to filter 99.97% of particle that has a size of 0.3 micro meters. It is a mat made up of fibres arranged randomly, typically fibreglass. The fibre has a diameter ranging from 0.5 to 0.2 micrometres. These filters are designed in a way so that they can capture the much smaller particles. It is interesting to know that HEPA filters are designed to filter smaller particles but not odour molecules or gaseous molecules. Thus, it cannot filter volatile organic compounds like cigarette, vapours, flatulence odours.
How to decontaminate Laminar airflow bench?
The purpose of this bench is to provide contamination free environment for the test samples. Therefore, to maintain a clean environment inside is also equally important. The germicidal lamp can be used for this. This lamp is kept inside the chamber with no contacts from the surroundings, it actually sterilizes the interiors. Precautionary measures need to be taken while using UV germicidal lamp, as UV lights exposure may ignite cancer like diseases and affect the eye-sight.
Laminar airflow bench is becoming an inseparable part of microbiological labs as they require contamination free environment. For more information, contact us.