Take a couple of minutes to read the section(s) related to your equipment. You might learn something that will protect you, save time or improve your results.

Deep Freezer Tips

  • Always wear cryogloves
  • Do not risk heating stored samples
  • Do not risk electrical overheating and cut-out

Always wear cryogloves

The quickest way to store a sample in a deep freezer is to put your hands inside. Touching the extremely cold surface will usually result in the leaving of some of your skin inside! Always wear cryogloves.

Do not risk heating stored samples

Limit the number of samples that you introduce at any time. Remember that a sample at room temperature of 20 °C is 100 °C hotter than samples frozen at -80 °C. A single cryobox contains energy equivalent to switching on a 60W light bulb for one hour inside the freezer. Instead, stagger the introduction of samples if possible and allow each group to freeze before adding more.

Do not risk electrical overheating and power cut-out

Do not use an extension lead. Plug the freezer directly into a power outlet using the cable attached to the freezer. Above all, never use a coiled extension lead, particularly without uncoiling it. If a coiled extension lead is used temporarily, be sure to fully unwind it. If you do not, the electricity passing through the coiled cable will create a substantial amount of heat. In a good quality coiled lead, this will cause a safety switch to cut the power (leading to overheating of your samples in the freezer). A poor quality coiled cable will burst into flames with resulting disaster.

Liquid Nitrogen Tanks Tips

  • Never Overfill the tank
  • Work in a well-ventilated area
  • Don’t go diving into a storage container to retrieve a dropped sample

Never Overfill the tank

Check the liquid nitrogen level in your tanks at least weekly and never allow the liquid nitrogen level in the tank to get lower than 5 inches from the bottom of the tank which is enough to maintain the low temperature in the tank necessary to avoid damage to the material you have stored in the tank.

Work in a well-ventilated area

Store your tank only in a clean, dry, ventilated area. Moisture, caustic cleaners or anything which might cause corrosion should be removed at once. Clean the outside of the tank with plain water or mild detergent solution and then wipe dry. Always store tanks in an upright position to prevent spillage

Don’t go diving into a storage container to retrieve a dropped sample

No sample is worth asphyxiating yourself from the vapors or burning your face/hands when the liquid bubbles up.

Liquid nitrogen is incredibly useful in laboratories but can also be a tad dangerous. Make sure you are a bit more on-guard as you go about your work in the lab!

Laminar Flow and Bio-safety Cabinet Tips

  • Good laboratory practice
  • Minimize contamination potential
  • Optimize operation

Good laboratory practice

Create a working sequence starting with initial components, samples and materials on one side of the cabinet and ending with the finished products on the other side of the cabinet. Keep the contents away from the front 20 cm of the work area.

Minimize contamination potential

Sterilize and remove all items and containers from the cabinet immediately the work has finished. Do not allow items and waste to build up in the cabinet.

Optimize operation

Set the cabinet to half speed and fit the closing panel when leaving the instrument for short periods, such as coffee and lunch breaks. The air will be recirculated and very little new air will enter the cabinet. When you want to restart work, reset the airflow to full speed and remove the closing panel. The cabinet will reach safe operating conditions in just a few minutes when the airflow stabilizes. Starting a stopped and open cabinet will require a wait of 15 minutes to reach the same conditions. The life of the filter will not be reduced by running at half speed, because the same filtered air will be recycled.

*Some Useful Tips information provided is based on publicly available sources. SciMed provides it in good faith ‘as is’ in a service to our customers, but cannot take responsibility for its use. We strongly recommend scientists to check this information elsewhere before using it.