This guide is specially designed by Bod incubator manufacturers. Here, they will explain how to reduce contamination in incubators and disinfect them like professionals. CO2 incubators are used in IVF labs. These devices are used to bring enhanced environments to perform cell culture. The best-designed incubator with precise functioning ensures the proper growth of cells. Contamination issues are rare and can be fixed with simple cleaning and maintenance practices. This post contains best practices to keep a CO2 incubator in working conditions and help IVF labs to prevent errors that may delay the projects.
How contamination can be addressed?
It is critical to have the best cleanliness practices for preventing contamination, especially in cell cultures. Any dust particle can be entered into the lab by air currents. Usually, indoor room air has 100-1000 microorganisms every cubic meter. The contaminants can make entry to the incubator whenever the door is opened.
It is necessary to clean the lab at least once a month. The cleaning involves disinfecting of biological safety cabinet, centrifuge, microscope, water bath, and every corner of the lab. Avoiding the use of cardboard storage inside or near refrigerators and freezers to prevent the breeding of fungi on wet cardboard. Never store items on the incubator top since dirt and dust can be entered into the chamber through air currents during the opening of the door.
Contamination causes more fuss during cell culturing. There are several sources of contamination, categorized into direct and indirect. Direct contamination points are media culture, seed culture, and contaminated reagents. Reagents and media sourced from trusted suppliers are hardly delivered contaminated. Labs can be contaminated with new cell lines, specifically during traveling from one lab to another. Lab experts can prevent direct contamination with the help of stringent testing.
Indirect contamination sources include lab surfaces, personnel, and lab equipment. Cross-contamination can happen predominantly via indirect sources. Lab experts can prevent it with good aseptic techniques and frequent cleaning. Better equipment design and following regular self-decontamination programs can prevent contamination.
Tips to prevent contamination in CO2 Incubators
– Avoid using fan-based air circulation
To prevent and reduce airborne contamination, it is suggested to use non-fan based incubators in the IVF labs.
– Use easy to remove shelves and racks to make cleaning easy.
– Buy an incubator having automatic self-disinfection program feature
– Use high-quality N2 and CO2 gases along with in-line gas HEPA filters.
– Lower the frequency and duration of door openings
– Apply split inner doors if you cannot control the openings count.
– Always use fresh and disinfected gloves to access the incubator
– Follow regular cleaning and maintenance schedules
How to clean an incubator?
Every incubator demands regular cleaning and CO2 incubators are most sensitive to contamination. Thus, regular cleaning practice can protect cells from germs and enhance the performance and shelf life of the incubator. Here are the best guidelines shared by incubator manufacturers –
- It is necessary to change the water in an incubator every week. Many users just refill incubator devices. This may result in contamination. You need to empty and add fresh, distilled water to the device.
- Perform cleaning of incubator once or twice every month. You don’t have to autoclave everything. You can wipe the surface with 70% ethanol and let it air dry.
- Check the device every week and scrap unused cultures
- Remove the things stored on the top of the device and clean it every two weeks.
- Clean every time when spillage happens
It is important to understand that you cannot add water sourced from anywhere to the incubator. For instance, if you use tap water and if it has small traces of chlorine, it can corrode pure copper or stainless steel. The same water may also contain minerals and bacteria. In the same way, deionized water is aggressive for the incubator. For the best operation and preventing corrosion, you should use sterile, distilled water has a pH between 7 and 9.
This is an ultimate care tip for every incubator maintenance. Keeping correct water at a high level in the water pan is recommended. Low humidity may result in the evaporation of water via culture medium. Due to evaporation, the balance of salts, minerals, amino acids, and other essential things will get affected and result in toxicity. Toxicity kills the cell and also damages the CO2 sensor.
These are the basic guidelines to clean and maintain CO2 incubators. The BOD incubator manufacturers shared this article to make users understand the significance of maintenance and cleaning of incubators. You can call your provider for any assistance regarding incubator maintenance.