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How Do Modern Incubators Support Tissue Culture and Cell Growth?

In science research, the role of modern incubators is pivotal. These sophisticated devices have become indispensable allies in understanding and harnessing the potential of tissue culture and cell growth.

The benefits of modern incubators aren’t just limited to humidity or temperature control, they also help to regulate gases such as nitrogen and oxygen. Similarly, industries use modern incubators to promote cell viability and proliferation and maintain experimental reproducibility

This article delves into the use of modern incubators for tissue cell growth. Here, we discuss how modern incubators work and why they are important.

How to Support Tissue Culture and Cell Growth with Modern Incubators

At its core, tissue culture maintains or grows plant or animal cells, tissues, or organs in a controlled, artificial environment. Cell culture growth, one subset of this technique, involves proliferating cells under controlled conditions in an incubator. 

Both processes are essential in research, drug development, and regenerative medicine. They help researchers study cells in isolation, allowing scientists to observe biological processes, test pharmaceuticals, or engineer tissues for transplantation. 

Here are some key features and ways modern incubators support tissue culture and cell growth:

Temperature Control

Incubators maintain a stable temperature, typically around 37°C (body temperature for mammalian cells). This temperature control ensures optimal conditions for cell growth and metabolism.

However, it’s not just about warmth anymore. It’s about ensuring that every corner of the incubator maintains this temperature uniformly, avoiding hotspots that could threaten delicate cell cultures.

Humidity Control

Humidity control is critical in preventing the evaporation of culture mediums, which can alter their concentration and affect cell growth. Modern incubators maintain an optimal humidity level, ensuring the medium’s consistency is conducive to cell development.

Furthermore, carbon dioxide (CO2) regulation is crucial for maintaining the correct pH in the culture medium. Advanced incubators offer precise CO2 control, often coupled with oxygen (O2) regulation capabilities for hypoxic studies, thus supporting a wider range of research applications.

Gas Regulation

Many incubators allow for precise control of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and sometimes nitrogen levels to mimic physiological conditions. This is crucial for cell types that have specific gas requirements for growth.

carbon dioxide regulation in Incubators

Sterile Environment

Sterility is paramount in tissue culture and cell growth experiments. Microbe contamination can derail weeks of work in an instant. 

Incubators feature HEPA filters and sometimes UV sterilization to create a sterile environment, minimize contamination risk, and maintain cell culture purity. The design often includes easy-to-clean surfaces and rounded corners, reducing the areas where contaminants might hide.

Carbon Dioxide Regulation

Cells in culture consume oxygen and produce carbon dioxide. Incubators typically regulate carbon dioxide levels to maintain physiological pH levels in the culture media.

Monitoring and Alarms

Technology integration has given rise to “smart incubators,” which feature touchscreen interfaces, remote monitoring, and automated data logging. Advanced incubators have sensors for temperature, humidity, gas levels, and other parameters. 

Researchers can remotely monitor and adjust conditions, receive alerts for variances, and access historical data for their experiments. This connectivity improves research efficiency and significantly lowers human error risks. It also features alarms to alert users of deviations from set conditions, helping to prevent potential damage to cell cultures.


Many modern incubators offer programmable settings. This allows researchers to create customized temperature, humidity, and gas profiles to meet the specific requirements of different cell types or experimental protocols.

Size and Configuration

Incubators come in various sizes and configurations, including benchtop models for small-scale experiments and large-capacity units for high-throughput applications. Some models feature multiple chambers or compartments, enabling a simultaneous culture of different cell lines or experiments.

Related Article: The Importance of Environmental Control in Growth Rooms

Why Modern Incubators Are Important

Incubators have come a long way from their early days when their primary function was to provide a warm environment conducive to cell growth. The transition from basic heat boxes to sophisticated environmental chambers reflects the advancements in our understanding of cell and tissue culture requirements.

Modern incubators promote tissue culture and cell growth by providing a stable environment. The following are reasons to install modern incubators in Ontario

Supporting Regenerative Medicine and Beyond

Modern incubators support regenerative medicine research and beyond, including tissue regeneration to repair or replace damaged organs. Their three-dimensional cultures and organoids, which closely replicate in vivo environments, enable this.

Furthermore, this capability can one day allow us to find therapies to cure diseases once considered incurable.

Cell Culture and Tissue Engineering

Incubators provide controlled environments necessary for growing cells and tissues in vitro. They mimic physiological conditions such as temperature, humidity, and gas composition, allowing researchers to study cell behaviour, proliferation, differentiation, and responses to stimuli.

Clinical Applications

Incubators are used in clinical settings for tasks such as culturing patient-derived cells for personalized medicine. They also aid in culturing cells for in vitro fertilization (IVF) and maintaining cell lines for organ transplantation and tissue engineering.

Quality Control

In pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and food production industries, incubators are essential for quality control testing. They ensure the consistency and reproducibility of cell-based assays, microbial testing, and product development processes.

Education and Training

Incubators are valuable tools in academic and educational settings for teaching cell biology, tissue culture techniques, and laboratory skills. They provide students with hands-on experience working with live cells and understanding fundamental biological processes.

Innovation and Discovery

Modern incubators contribute to scientific innovation and discovery by providing researchers with the tools to create controlled experimental conditions. They enable the exploration of complex biological processes, the development of new technologies, and the advancement of knowledge in fields such as cell biology, microbiology, and biomedicine.

Related Article: What are Temperature-Controlled Incubators?

modern incubators contribute to scientific innovation

Build a Modern Incubator Contractor in Ontario

Modern incubators are at the cutting edge of biological research, enabling scientists to explore life at its cellular level and better understand human physiology and medicine. As we push science’s limits further, incubators’ role will only increase and support future discoveries that shape human health and medicine.

Can-trol Environmental Systems supports your research needs with innovative incubator solutions. Contact us today to help you create environments in which science can thrive.

For all clean rooms, cold rooms, growth chambers, and modern incubator installations in Ontario, call us at 905-415-8141.

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