selection of incubator

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    I have been asked many questions regarding with bioluminescence recording. Two most commonly asked questions are how to make recording medium and selection of incubator. I decided to post those answers.

    I am currently using two different types of incubators. Any incubator with decent temperature uniformity should work. However, it is very important to set the temperature slightly (0.5 to 1 degree C) lower than your target temperature. The PMTs in the LumiCycle generate heat and the temperature inside of the LumiCycle is slightly higher than that inside of the incubator. The actual temperature at culture can be monitored by temperature data logger (e.g. HOBO).

    [Air jacket CO2 incubator]
    Water jacket CO2 incubator should work but air jacket CO2 incubator is cheaper. We don?t add CO2, because culture is sealed so there is no need to have CO2 incubator. But we cannot typically find air jacket incubator without CO2 in the size which LumiCycle fits. I am using VWR 5015, but this is no longer available. Similar incubator should work fine.

    [Environmental Chamber]
    I am using REVCO BOD50.

    [Incubator v.s. Environmental Chamber]
    Temperature uniformity is better in the incubator than in environmental chamber. My VWR 5015 is very stable (+/- 0.02 actual measure). Temperature in REVCO BOD50 fluctuates with about 0.1 degree amplitude.
    Temperature recovery in REVCO BOD50 is much better than that in VWR 5015. When I load samples into the LumiCycle in the VWR 5015, the temperature drops and it takes a while to recover. If I am recording the samples in other channels, this temperature drop affects the baseline of other channels. This temporal baseline change is not suitable for data analysis, so when I have samples in the LumiCycle I cannot load other samples. Temperature recovers very quickly in REVCO BOD50. If I quickly load the sample, I don?t notice baseline changes in the other channels.

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