Thermal chambers for cell microbiology
Linkam Scientific Instruments has developed the Incubatrix 35, the entry level stage in the range of cell biology microscope stage chambers. The sample temperature is accurately controlled to 0.1°C by feedback from a Pt100 sensor placed in the sample solution within the Petri dish. The sensor is encased in a thin non-reactive ceramic sheath and can easily be disconnected and sterilised in an autoclave. Sample temperature is maintained by warm air generated from a small heater within the stage.
The inside of the stage chamber has been designed specifically to guide the warm air around all surfaces of the Petri dish and even underneath it. Due to the minimal sample chamber size, extremely low air flow is required thereby reducing influence of air currents and eliminating vibration. As the temperature of the entire sample chamber is the same there is no condensation on the inside of the Petri dish lid as seen with warm stage design and hence temperature of the sample is not affected by the cooling effect of rapid sample evaporation.
The Incubatrix also offers improved optical performance as the underside of the stage is completely open allowing unimpaired access for high NA short working distance objectives. The large diameter window in the top of the stage can be removed and replaced with windows of a different material depending on the optical application (eg, quartz for UV).
The mounting plate of the stage has been designed specifically to avoid drift during long-term heating experiments and is compatible with the majority of inverted microscopes including motorised versions. The temperature controller has an RS232 connection, is flash upgradeable and compatible with Linksys 32 temperature control software. The front of the sample chamber is simply lifted away, then transfer the Petri dish straight from the benchtop or laboratory incubator into the recess and relocate the chamber front end.
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