Insect Rearing Rooms
Standard walk-in incubators or coolers used in the rearing of drosophila and other biological organisms often end up being problematic for a number of reasons. The acids inherent in the rearing of many specimens or their food can quickly corrode a standard refrigeration evaporator. High humidity exacerbates the issue, as droplets of concentrated acid will collect on the cooling components. Other companies use an evaporator that can have thousands of square inches of vulnerable evaporator surface, where one very small refrigerant leak will require expensive repair—that may include many other components of the refrigeration system, other than the evaporator itself, due to compromised oil (modern refrigeration oils are very hygroscopic) in the system. Anyone familiar with Drosophila storage, for example, will understand that the propionic acid present in the chamber can render a new, conventional incubator useless in as little as 6 months.
Obviously, the above scenario is a primary concern to any researcher, but there are many other issues to be concerned about. Because most types of incubators are produced for a very wide audience, many of the details are not ideally suited for the needs of the insect researcher. Details that are often overlooked include: ability to shut down all heat or cold producing equipment in the event of a malfunction, ability to decontaminate the chamber with high heat, low noise levels, ease of programming, overall reliability in a corrosive atmosphere, and many others. Most refrigerated incubators on the market today are based on the exact same technology used in refrigerators for decades, but the truth is, much biological research is never done at temperatures below 15°C, so it stands to reason that the ability to go below that temperature may indeed be more of a liability than a benefit.
Darwin Chambers answer for researchers looking for the ideal chamber is a multi-fold approach:
- Epoxy coated air handlers. This coating seems to be the most resistant against long term corrosion.
- Running the rooms without refrigerant in the room. After almost a decade after turning our back on straight refrigerant in mild heat load applications, we are glad we did. Our PFTCU works out very well in insect rearing rooms. Low pressures, ease of repair, and reliability are just some of the reasons. You can read more on our technologies page.
- We utilize U.V. sterilized ultrasonic humidification. It’s precise. Very little heat is generated = smaller compressor = lower energy usage. A good benefit is extremely good temperature uniformity as well.
- Optional Antimicrobial Coating on door handle to reduce the spread of bacteria and pathogens.
- Low profile 2″ floor – maximizes available space, provides insulation performance, allows minimal ramp requirements to meet A.D.A. requirements.
- Optional panel surface finish available in BLACK embossed galvanized steel to mimic nighttime inside the chamber
Standard controllers are non-proprietary and are exceptionally accurate and reliable. Set-points and alarms are easy to set with a small amount of instruction. Diurnal ramping/soaking/cycling of temperatures is standard.
Personnel emergency alarm: illuminated pull to reset push-button (inside room), control panel mounted visual and audible alarm. Includes glow in the dark label and a glow in the dark antimicrobial pull cord that can trigger alarm when pulled, a life saving feature for injured personnel lying on the floor.
The Darwin Advantage
All installed instrumentation is calibrated to NIST traceable standards and provided with a calibration form. In-house, factory calibrations are performed using state-of-the-art equipment with great accuracies. These reports are three-point verifications, traceable calibration documents.