How to avoid contamination in tissue culture? - (Aug/29/2006 )
Didn't have too much luck chasing information on the Binder's. The CO2 probe needs to be removed prior to sterilization (I think this is common to all Binder incubators and is the only thing that needs to be removed). The staff have "blown" a couple of probes while putting them back in after sterilization. Apparently users are being advised to turn the power off prior to re-inserting the probe. The probes cost around $A1000 to replace (around $US750).
The staff complained of a few minor design faults, nothing major. eg. the double door unit was annoying because you had to open both the left and right hand outer doors to open a single inner one. They also mentioned a metal catch that was bent a couple of times and hindered the door being closed properly until it was straightened. Otherwise they were doing their job OK.
Their manager said another lab had recently puchased a Heraeus which had a low heat, humidified (90C) sterilization function where you could leave the probe inside. Too early to assess but he felt that it would be better to have a unit where the probe didn't need to be removed when sterilization took place.
Let us know what you decide. You'll certainly have a lot of bargaining power with an order that big!
All the best.
I am afraid to say that the incubators in question in my previous thread were Heraeus with the 90 degree cycle. They are fan assisted and once infected are almost impossible to clean. I have asked the RS Biotech engineers to see if they can increase their cycle to 140oC, from 120oC. I had a feeling that the CO2 sensor in the Binder needed to be removed. This really is not an option.
As stated previously if you use the correct GLP then decontamination is never required. Of course for most scientist's who contaminate their CO2 Incubators, they want a "magic bullet" to get rid of fungal/bacterial contamination. Most think that the fungus comes from the TC room environment. But as my settle plate experiment showed, most rooms are clean enough to do your work "on the bench".