The Different Types of Laboratory Incubators


Scientific apparatus are essential equipment in many laboratory settings, providing controlled environments for growing and maintaining cultures of cells, bacteria, and other microorganisms. There are several types of laboratory incubator, each designed to meet specific needs and applications. This article overviews the different types of apparatus and their applications.

  • Bacterial Apparatus

Bacterial apparatuses are designed to support the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms. These apparatus typically provide a warm and moist environment to maintain the optimal growth conditions for bacteria. The temperature and humidity are closely controlled to prevent the growth of unwanted microorganisms and promote the target culture’s growth. Bacterial apparatuses are used in various applications, including clinical, industrial, and research settings.

  • CO2 Apparatus

CO2 apparatus is designed to provide a controlled environment for cell cultures. They are significant for cell culture applications that require a high level of control over the carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the incubation chamber. The addition of CO2 gas maintains the CO2 levels in the incubation chamber. It helps to maintain the optimal conditions for cell growth and prevent contamination from other microorganisms. CO2 apparatuses are widely used in research and industrial settings, including producing vaccines, biologics, and other pharmaceutical products.

  • Walk-In Apparatus

The walk-in apparatus provides a controlled environment for growing significant cell cultures or bacteria. They are often used in industrial and research settings where large-scale production is required. Walk-in apparatuses are typically temperature-controlled and may also be equipped with humidity control and CO2 control. 

  • Low-Temperature Apparatus

Low-temperature apparatuses are designed to maintain a temperature below a conventional apparatus. They are used in applications that require low temperatures, such as storing biological specimens or cultivating thermophilic microorganisms. Low-temperature apparatus typically have a temperature range between 0°C and 10°C and are equipped with temperature control and monitoring systems to ensure precise temperature control.

  • Microprocessor-Controlled Apparatus

Microprocessor-controlled apparatus is an advanced incubator that uses microprocessor technology to control and monitor the temperature, humidity, and CO2 levels in the incubation chamber. They have user-friendly interfaces and advanced features such as data logging, automatic temperature control, and alarm systems. Microprocessor-controlled apparatuses are widely used in research, industrial, and clinical settings due to their precise temperature control and ease of use.

  • Combination Apparatus

Combination apparatuses are capable of providing multiple environmental conditions in a single unit. For example, some combination apparatus can provide a controlled environment for cell cultures while also providing low-temperature storage for biological specimens. Combination apparatuses are a versatile and convenient solution for laboratory settings that require multiple environmental conditions.

  • Shaking Apparatus

Shaking apparatuses are designed to provide a controlled environment for growing cultures while also providing mechanical agitation. Mechanical agitation helps to mix the cultures, increase the oxygenation of the cultures, and improve the growth of cultures. Shaking apparatuses are commonly used in research, industrial, and clinical settings for applications such as bacterial fermentation and cell culture.

When selecting a laboratory apparatus, it is essential to consider factors such as the size of the incubation chamber, the temperature range, the level of control over the environment, and the level of automation. Additionally, it is crucial to consider the safety features, such as alarms and automatic shut-off systems, to ensure the safety of the cultures and the laboratory environment.

With a range of different types to choose from, selecting the appropriate incubator will depend on the specific needs and applications of the laboratory. Whether for bacterial growth, cell culture, or low-temperature storage, a laboratory apparatus will meet the needs of any laboratory setting.


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