Utilizing Infrared Sensors in Life Science Incubators

In order to provide stable growth environments, life science and laboratory industries often use CO2 incubation equipment. Technicians can maintain the correct pH in the growth cultures by controlling the CO2 and O2 in these incubators.

Utilizing Infrared Sensors in Life Science Incubators

Image Credit: CO2Meter, Inc.

Controlling these cultures properly is crucial in the field and routine maintenance of the systems is heavily reliant upon humidity, temperature, and carbon dioxide concentrations.

Infrared (IR) sensing technology is the advanced technology commonly utilized in monitoring and controlling cell environments. It is a core component of the Microsens Incubator IR CO2 Sensor (MH-100).

With sensors like the Microsens Incubator IR CO2 Sensor, technicians are confident in highly accurate, reliable gas measurements in the incubators without having to remove the sensor during high-temperature sterilization cycles.

How Does an Incubator IR CO2 Sensor Work?

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) absorbs the wavelength 4.3 um within the infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum and Infrared (IR) sensors work by measuring the absorption, relying heavily on the principle that each gas absorbs a distinct wavelength of light.

An IR emitter then directs the infrared light through a sample of the growth chamber's atmosphere and next through an interferometer filter, which isolates the proper wavelength and finally enables the sensor to process the data.

It is crucial to remember that periodically calibrated circuits measure the amount of 4.3 um light, which strikes the sensor and quantifies the difference between it and what was emitted by the source. The more CO2 in the gas sample, the less light passes through, making the difference of enabling the circuits to calculate the accurate percentage of carbon dioxide.

Why Choose an Infrared IR CO2 Sensor?

Selecting the proper sensing technology can be a challenging task for technicians who are working in incubation or microbiology labs. Although additional sensing technologies are available in the field, Infrared IR CO2 sensors are most highly sought out for a large range of specified capabilities.

The price difference between Infrared (IR) CO2 sensors and others like Thermal Conductivity sensors is huge. Infrared sensors are a lot more affordable and cost-effective for technicians.

The MicroSENS Hightemp Incubator IR CO2 Sensor.

The MicroSENS Hightemp Incubator IR CO2 Sensor. Image Credit: CO2Meter, Inc.

Furthermore, accuracy and precision are other considerations to take into account, besides being cost-effective, when choosing a sensor. Those choosing an Infrared IR sensing technology will discover that they are known to ensure consistent, reliable, and highly accurate measurements long-term.

Thermal Conductivity (TC) sensing technologies have been known to have issues in harsh humidity that often result in giving more unstable, inaccurate measurements and sometimes even failure.

When researching Infrared IR CO2 Sensor for incubation, another factor is understanding that IR monitoring of carbon dioxide is most commonly preferred in laboratory environments which require high sanitization and hygiene practices.

Most IR sensors are damaged by high temperature sterilization, which is sometimes performed using peroxide. It is nearly impossible to find a sensor that can withstand these sterilization cycles.

In addition, using IR sensing researchers, scientists, and laboratory technicians will be able to ensure less handling and assembly errors because of the integrated temperature and pressure compensation.

The IR technology in the MH-100 was designed to withstand high-temperature sterilization cycles up to 190 °C (374 °F), increasing the lifespan of the sensor dramatically. Competitors' sensors do not provide this high temperature resilience and low maintenance.

Overall, when researching, it is crucial to know how an Infrared IR CO2 sensor works and its main benefits, as there are a variety of different designs on the market. Understanding how each model affects accuracy, precision, or aggressive temperatures and comparing these sensors should not be rushed.

If the CO2 incubator is not operating properly or gases are not monitored efficiently cell growth, pH, and tissues can all be severely affected, so the choice of sensing technology is also critical.

Incubator manufacturers and their end laboratory customers have worked to minimize altered effects and replicate their cell cultures' natural environment for years in order to enable optimal environmental conditions and results.

The Best Technology to Further Maintain This Environment

Laboratories using CO2 incubators can rest assured that they can accurately and repeatedly measure the CO2 to control the pH levels in the chamber with an Infrared IR CO2 Sensor, and not worry about contamination or unstable maintenance for their specimens.

At CO2Meter, we strive to develop sensors and products that provide a solution to a customer’s needs. These solutions fill a “gap” in the market that we can then capitalize on and sell into.

The team takes pride in our ability to identify and become experts in specific markets such as incubation and IR technologies, allowing us to provide resources and key knowledge on topics rather than being outsiders looking in. Customers know they can call us, provide their use cases, and specifications and our technical sales team can help them identify the right sensor for the application.

Joshua Pringle, VP of Business Development, CO2Meter 

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

For more information on this source, please visit CO2Meter, Inc.

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