Why is CO2 Safety Important for Incubators?

The first incubators were created over a thousand years ago in China to keep chicken eggs warm. Between then and the 1960s, advances in science abounded when modern, CO2 incubators were developed. The science of CO2 in incubation has been constant since then.

Why is CO2 Safety Important for Incubators?

Image Credit: CO2Meter

Standard incubation equipment supplies technicians with the ability to grow and study cultures as they can optimize humidity and temperature conditions for cell growth and maintain proper development. The science has only been advanced by the inclusion of carbon dioxide (CO2).

In the last 20 years, advances in in vitro fertilization (IVF) has heightened the demand for incubation services and equipment. This fast growth in the market has also meant that incubator designers and manufacturers can utilize advanced methods to create innovative new products and solutions for this increasing customer demand.

The employment of CO2 in incubators has also increased the demand for high-quality, certified gases for these laboratories and clinics. With gases comes the requirement for monitoring.

CO2 Benefits in Incubation

Carbon dioxide is utilized in incubators to maintain the pH in the cell cultures. In addition to maintaining a consistent temperature and humidity levels, the CO2 is typically kept between 3-7% depending on the application and culture.

Clinics and labs are constantly monitoring and adjusting their desired levels in incubators to ensure accuracy and to ensure extremely tight tolerances and specifications. A vital part of tolerance and quality controls is constant or occasional double checks of readings.

The Importance of CO2 Monitoring

Although several incubators have built-in CO2 monitoring in the design of the systems, third-party verification is a vital element in the accuracy of incubators.


CO2 Sampling Data Loggers are designed for this express purpose. Carbon dioxide levels must be measured and monitored daily when dealing with the overall pH levels of the cells; this is to ensure the stability of the cell cultures.

Why is CO2 Safety Important for Incubators?

Image Credit: CO2Meter

The Incubator IR CO2 Sensor is the most commonly utilized devices among CO2Meter embryologists, cell biologists, lab technicians, and pharmaceutical clients. To manage ideal cell and tissue growth, the (MH-100) Incubator IR CO2 Sensor is designed specifically to monitor and detect carbon dioxide levels in cell incubators.

The CO2 sensor can also be placed directly in the incubation chamber to measure the exact cell experienced environment, without having to remove the sensor during high-temperature sterilization cycles.

Why is CO2 Safety Important for Incubators?

Image Credit: CO2Meter

Additionally, for scientific and medical applications, CO2Meter also offers a portable, battery-powered sampling data logger. This device is designed to measure multiple gas concentrations through a sampling technique simultaneously and is called the (CM-1000) Multi Gas Sampling Data Logger.

By employing a micropump, the device draws samples into the sensing chambers, permitting each sensor to take a fast and accurate measurement of the sample. Due to its ability to measure a variety of gas concentrations such as CO2, CO, O2, CH4, RH, AMB, DP, and ALTI, the Multi Gas Sampling Data Logger integrates into a wide range of industries, including incubation.

Measurement capabilities aside, the CM-1000 also features audible alarms, a large LCD, data logging capabilities and customization for any 20 mm EC sensor to be added.

Additional Gas Monitoring

The laboratories and clinics store the CO2 inside their facilities. The storage of large amounts of gas can create safety hazards because a leak or rupture could occur.

Employees and students are kept safe from these potential hazards by the RAD-0102-6 Remote CO2 Storage Safety Three Alarm Monitor. By alerting staff to the potential hazards of a CO2 leak, early detection and alerts have saved many lives in scientific facilities.

Furthermore, during "vitrification", the facilities also utilize liquid nitrogen for cooling and freezing of samples. Technicians freeze the eggs quickly by using the liquid nitrogen for long-term storage. These samples are then stored in large tanks of liquid nitrogen until they are required.

Why is CO2 Safety Important for Incubators?

Image Credit: CO2Meter

Nonetheless, the utilization and storage of liquid nitrogen raise safety concerns too. As with the safety concerns with stored cylinders or bulk CO2 tanks, N2 storage would also require a safety monitor to detect if the nitrogen has driven out oxygen to the point of human asphyxiation.  

The Remote Oxygen Depletion Alarm (RAD-0002) can be utilized to detect the levels of oxygen in the room to ensure safety near stored Nitrogen (N2) and will provide audible and visual alarms if the oxygen should fall below acceptable levels.

Lives can be saved and peace of mind can be ensured in the event of an emergency by installing safety monitors and educating staff or employees on the potential risks that could happen in laboratory or incubation settings.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by CO2Meter.

For more information on this source, please visit CO2Meter.


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