Not All Biosafety Cabinets Are Created Equally

Thermo Fisher Scientific
By Marion Weimar
Friday, 01 October, 2021


Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Herasafe™ 2025 takes the lead on the latest in innovative biological safety cabinets by introducing a brand-new iteration of its predecessors, which includes independent supply and exhaust blowers, real-time airflow compensation and a digital airflow verification system.

For more than five decades, researchers around the globe have spent thousands of hours in front of Thermo Fisher Scientific biosafety cabinets (BSCs).

Brand new to the market, the Thermo Scientific™ Herasafe 2025 model adheres to what Peter Bigelow calls the “four Cs of BSCs”: containment, comfort, convenience, and cost.

To break it down further, the Technical Application ANZ Specialist for biological safety cabinets explains, “A biosafety cabinet’s main job is to protect the sample, the operator, and the surrounding environment.”

“In a typical lab environment, there can be between 30 to 1,000 microbes/m3 circulating in the air, so protecting the sample is paramount,” says Peter.

“There is a lot of money invested in certain cell culture types,” he continues. “Over the past few decades, we have seen an increased focus on primary and stem cell work and these cell culture samples are very fragile and can be costly to maintain.”

Peter goes on to explain how the Herasafe 2025 aims to deliver on its promise of “smarter protection that never takes a day off” by highlighting the four Cs for customers looking to upgrade their biosafety cabinets.

Containment

“The fragility of valuable samples and protection of the operator is what inspired Thermo Fisher’s SmartFlow™ Plus feature,” says Peter. “This intelligent technology monitors and controls the independent fans in real time to maintain balanced airflow during filter loading or temporary obstruction.”

Along with this, there is a built-in digital airflow verification system, Peter affectionately refers to as “D.A.V.e” which monitors airflow velocity and alerts the user to any changes.

Comfort

Since researchers can spend many hours working in front of their cabinets, monitoring their samples and maintaining their workspace, reducing the likelihood of fatigue through comfortable ergonomic features was an important consideration for Thermo Fisher in the design of the Herasafe 2025, according to Peter.

“The cabinet combines a 10-degree sloped sash with LED lighting and side windows sized to maximise light for the user,” says Peter. “The sloped sash is a beloved feature that we often receive positive feedback on from customers due to the ergonomic comfort.”

ConvenienceFemale scientist cleaning hinged front sash window of Herasafe 2025 biological safety cabinet

In addition to Thermo Fisher’s spacious, ergonomic design, researchers can enjoy ease of use with the Herasafe 2025. The SmartClean™ Plus hinged front sash window allows for easy cleaning and full access to the workspace.

To ensure a sterile workstation, crossbeam UV lights on both sides of the cabinet walls illuminate the entire work surface without leaving shadows.

“Researchers spend a lot of time sterilising their workspace. The cross-beam UV lights provide an effective decontamination of the work surface which is hugely convenient and time-efficient,” Peter enthuses.

Cost

“About 80% of labs experience at least one contamination per year,” says Peter. Contaminants can be chemical, biological, or the result of cross-contamination.1

“When samples are damaged, the cells, the reagents, and the consumables are all lost,” he explains, when associated costs in labour and time are factored in, the loss from a single contamination can add up to $10,000 or more.

“Investing in a quality biosafety cabinet combined with proper aseptic technique could prevent future losses and costs,” he stresses.

In addition to effective management of samples, the Herasafe 2025 also includes a Standby Mode option that can reduce airflow by up to 70%, providing energy cost savings, according to Peter.

“At the end of the day, with the Herasafe 2025 we have designed a cabinet that is simple to use and it’s innovative,” he says. “It maximises sample protection and cost-efficiency, but it also has emphasis on containment, comfort, and convenience.”

Throughout the evolution of biosafety cabinets, Peter says Thermo Fisher’s secret has been listening to the voices of their customers.

“Our BSCs have evolved over time, along with the needs of our customers,” he says.

“We use the voices of our customers as a source of deep insight when developing our designs. With the Herasafe 2025, we wanted to understand what our customers’ pain points were, and it is our hope that this new model addresses those thoughtfully,” concludes Peter.

The Herasafe 2025 will be added to the Thermo Fisher Scientific catalogue this September, alongside its siblings Herasafe 2030i and MSC Advantage™.

To compare the features and benefits of each model, or for more information on Thermo Fisher’s range of biosafety cabinets, please visit here.

Reference
  1. Cell culture contamination - Thermo Fisher Scientific. https://www.thermofisher.com/au/en/home/references/gibco-cell-culture-basics/biological-contamination.html

Originally published here.

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