Lab Incubators: Be Prepared for Issues at Any Time

August 11, 2021   |   Lab Management
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Most bio labs are equipped with one or more incubators to provide an optimal growing environment for cells, bacteria, viruses, and other living organisms. These incubators have an enclosed environmental chamber with tightly controlled temperature, relative humidity, and — depending on the incubator model — O2 levels and CO2 levels.  

For each of these listed variables, lab incubators have sensors as well as internal controls to make continuous adjustments in order to maintain the proper levels. When one of these factors goes outside of its acceptable range, an audible alarm goes off in the incubator to warn of a problem, and the incubator’s digital display lets lab personnel know which factor is “out of bounds” and its current value.

The Traditional Next Steps After an Incubator Alert Goes Off

No matter which variable is outside of its proper range, someone on the lab staff has to go to the incubator, identify what’s wrong, and attempt to remedy the problem — and in the event they can’t fix the issue, move the lab incubator contents elsewhere until the unit is repaired.

While these manual steps create a less flexible environment for lab personnel, the other issue is incubator alarms are audible and can only be heard inside the lab. So if a problem pops up at night or over the weekend — when no one is in the lab to hear the alarm — it can go undetected for a period of time and may hurt the safety and integrity of samples.

A Better Alternative: A Remote Alarm System from CORIS

Recognizing the frustrations and room for error that come with traditional alarm systems, CORIS offers remote alarm capabilities for lab incubators. 

Most incubators have an external alarm port or terminal on the back of the unit so external alarms can be attached. CORIS has an alarm sensor that plugs into the alarm port or attaches to the alarm terminals, and that sensor then communicates with cloud-based CORIS servers. If an incubator alarm goes off, the CORIS servers will send out a text message, email, and/or a phone call to lab personnel that indicates which incubator is having the problem and how long the alarm has been active.

The Need for Quick Action to Protect Research

Some lab incubator problems can wait until Monday morning or the next day, but most cannot — or else the samples will die and the research will be lost. CORIS aims to ease these concerns through a remote alarm system that keeps lab personnel connected no matter where they are. Alarm thresholds are set using the incubator controls, and once those limits are breached, the alarm goes off and CORIS will send out customized alerts — whether those individuals are in the lab, in the building, out to dinner, or at home.

Interested in learning more about our system? Contact the CORIS team today for details.