Keeping the modern research lab up to date as the technology evolves can often be a full-time job. Since most scientists would rather be focused on their research, Endocrine News has compiled a few of the coolest gadgets to make your lab life a little easier.
Choosing the best equipment for your laboratory can be a tedious adventure. Whether it’s buying a product for the very first time or replacing aging equipment to keep up with today’s advancing technology, finding the best tools can be a challenge.
Endocrine News takes a look at seven must-have products that promise to make your lab run easier by improving your staff’s safety, saving time, and saving space.
Bead Baths. Experts agree that using metallic bath beads instead of water can eliminate the majority of sample contamination that happens in water baths. Usually, contamination occurs from the water in a bath or when something contaminated — such as the bench, a glove, or vessel — touches the sample before it’s placed in the bath. While bead baths are not new to the market, many lab managers are making the switch to enjoy the many advantages. Bead baths can keep a lab greener and can heat samples while using less energy. They also save time from reworking ruined experiments and cut out cleaning and filling work. Take a look at Lab Armor’s dry bead bath products.
Ductless Fume Hood. A fume hood is a safety necessity for every lab’s filtration process. Erlab’s new Captair Smart ductless fume hood offers simple installation and no need to connect or add a duct system. Each unit comes with Smart Technology™ – an exclusive set of easy-to-use tools that includes Smart-Light Communication™, chemical sensors, real-time status, and the eGuard app.
Magnetic Stirrer. IKA’s Safety Magnetic Stirrer offers extra safety protection with heating and integrated balance. A clear, multilingual display is easy to use and a “lock” function prevents mistaken changes of speed and temperature settings. The stainless steel hot plate allows for quick heating, reaching a temperature of 360°C. For added safety, the plate’s current temperature is displayed when the unit is turned off but the surface is still hot. It shuts off automatically when the unit cools to below 50°C.
Space-saving CO2 incubator. If limited space in your lab is an issue, Caron’s new Wally CO2 incubator is a perfect solution. Unlike traditional cube incubators where most of the space in the rear of the unit goes unused, the Wally unit has a slim, rectangular, wall-hugging design to conserve space in crowded areas. The incubator has a no-touch door opening, smart glass culture space viewing, and easier culture access.
Centrifuge. NuAire boasts that its new general purpose NuWind Centrifuge is “smaller in size, big in capacity” to spare you valuable counter space. It also offers time-savers such as a tool-free rotor exchange and the ability to use the same rotor to spin plates and tubes on a single run.
Combination Refrigerator and Freezer. The Jewett Dual-Temperature Refrigerator/Freezer by Thermo Scientific™ allows you to cool your specimens while saving space. Two separate compartments give cold storage at temperatures of 1° to 8°C (refrigerator) and -20°C (freezer). Includes a door key lock for added security and an optional alarm/monitoring system.
Automated Liquid Handler. If your budget allows, considering an automated liquid pipette handling system (“pipetting robots”) may be worth the investment. The system can run your lab’s samples independently for hours on end, saving time and eliminating human error and fatigue. Systems range in price and options but the most popular are stand-alone or individual benchtop workstations. Vendors include Aurora Biomed’s VERSA series and BrandTech Scientific
—Glenda Fauntleroy is a Carmel, IN-based freelance writer and a regular contributor to Endocrine News. She wrote about gender disparities in the lab in last month’s Laboratory Notes column.