Sensors

Sensors provide accurate control of CO2 levels in lab incubators

1st August 2018
Lanna Cooper

Gas Sensing Solutions (GSS) is helping to solve a challenge with laboratory incubator applications. Incubators are typically used to grow bacteria and micro-organisms, and to culture cells and tissues for research and clinical purposes. The incubator's job is to help mimic a cell's natural environment and provide stable conditions for safe, reliable study.

Incubators typically only measure up to around five percent CO2 concentration levels, but some researchers need to have concentrations of up to 20% CO2 or higher. GSS CO2 sensors are therefore being used to monitor and control the incubator atmosphere as they can measure concentrations up 100%.

Having stable CO2 control was rated as the top feature when purchasing a CO2 incubator according to a recent survey by Lab Manager. Stability is therefore an important requirement for a CO2 sensor in order to maintain the integrity of research and experiments in incubator applications.

GSS CO2 sensors are manufactured in-house using proprietary mid-infrared LEDs as the core technology. This solid-state platform provides the durability needed to consistently measure CO2 in the incubator environment.

In addition, because the sensors use LED technology, they generate minimal heat when taking CO2 measurements. This has the added benefit of not altering the environment inside the incubator, which could potentially affect the research or experiment being carried out. By contrast, alternative CO2 sensor designs have to heat up a source of infrared every time they take a measurement, which may need to be accounted for in the incubator.

The ExplorIR range of sensors are available in three measurement ranges of 0-5%, 0-20% and 0-100% to ensure an optimal fit with the environment being measured. Specifically, the ExplorIR-W sensor operates at a temperature range of 0º to 50º C, but is also available with extended temperature range from -25°C to 55°C to suit diverse applications.

The sensor is easy to set up with a UART interface over four pins.

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