Incubators | How to use FAQ


CO2 Incubators

Basic setting | UV Sterilization | H2O2 Decontamination

About Basic setting

  • What are the points to note for setting up CO2 Incubator?
    - Locate the incubator in a clean room or the location where few people enter. Locations where there is a lot of foot traffic are not suitable for the unit. Choose a clean room or a place where there are as few people as possible.
    - Set up the unit as high off the floor as possible. Since there are fewer airborne bacteria in the upper part of the room , the incubator should be placed on a laboratory table or a special stand. If stacking two or three units on top of each other, use a special roller base (we have an optional line-up).
    - Place in a location that is not directly affected by outside air. Avoid putting the unit in a location that will be directly affected air from a window, door, air conditioning / heating vent or wind blew out from clean benches of positive pressure type. 
  • What are the points to note for using CO2 Incubator?
    - Always were gloves and a mask when using the unit. Never use bare hands when cleaning or operating the unit.
    - Wipe spills immediately to always keep the unit clean when culture media or humidifying water spills . Always keep the inside of the unit clean.
    - Keep everything as sterile as possible.
    - Minimize opening of the unit door. When the door is frequently opened and closed, environment of chamber inside (including temperature, gas concentration etc.) is not maintained / stabilized.
  • What does the "Error" or "Function" code on product display indicate?
    The condition when "Error code" or "Function code" is indicated is different by model. The "Error code" indicates error/abnormal condition of the product. The "Function code" indicates the parts replacement notification after life time of fan motor, battery etc.
    Depending on the product series (such with LCD display equipped), not only the "code" of "Warning" and/or "Alarm" and/or "Error" and/or "Status" but also the "message" are displayed. The difference of the code depends on model number or condition or risk of product however, you can see what's happening from the message on LDC screen at a glance without reading manual.
    For more detail about the each code with the condition of product, please find User's manual here and solve the error condition. And please contact our sales representative or distributor for the servicing.

About UV Sterilization

  • What is the life time of UV lamp?
    It is recommended to replace UV lamp after 5,000 hours of accumulated / total lightning time passed. Then message for the replacement is displayed on the screen. Please contact PHCbi official distributor in such case.    
    As the total time of UV lightning is increased, possible UV ray output is decreased. To compensate the situation, lightning time of UV lamp (after door opening / closing) is automatically extended along with the using condition and accumulated lightning time of UV lamp.
  • When UV intensity is degraded, can a resolving phase be executed properly?
    When a UV lamp life indicator is blinking that means UV lamp has been used for longer than 5000 hours, the decontamination process cannot be started. When the lamp’s use hours is less than 5000 hours and no blinking of UV lamp indicator, even if its UV intensity is degraded, the lamp can resolve gas without extension of resolving time.

About H2O2 Decontamination

  • What do I need to do if power failure occurs during decontamination process?
    Immediately after power is recovered, UV resolving phase (90min.) starts. However, even after decontamination process is completed, decontamination error message will be displayed. You should start the decontamination process again. During power failure, the door is remained locked.
  • When should I do the decontamination process?
    Please do decontamination when contamination occurs inside the chamber, or at chamber cleaning for change over before starting culture (*Instruction Manual has a description). We also recommend performing the decontamination process just after installation and a minimum of 1× per month even if contamination isn’t observed.
  • How is H2O2 resolved?
    H2O2 is resolved into water and oxygen by UV irradiation to eliminate all of the H2O2. Without UV irradiation, only natural degradation of H2O2 gas concentration occurs and the condensation water inside the chamber will have an initial concentration (6%) of H2O2.
  • What marks a resolving phase completion?
    When the process is completed the concentration of H2O2 gas is lower than 0.1 ppm (resolving time: 90 minutes). This period is preset and based on test results, not direct monitoring of actual H2O2 concentration levels.
  • During decontamination and resolving processes, is the chamber fan operating?
    Yes. The fan is required to circulate the H2O2 vapor evenly inside the chamber during the decontamination process
  • What triggers the switch from H2O2 generation to the resolving phase?
    Once the volume of H2O2 solution in the generator falls below the predetermined level as monitored by a float sensor in the H2O2 generator, the resolving phase starts. The misting period is approximately 10 minutes and resolving period is approximately 90 minutes.
  • After decontamination, is it OK to leave the incubator unattended for a night or a couple of days? (Can I start the decontamination program just before going home?)
    Yes, but end user must remember to clean out residual H2O2 before bringing cultures back in.
  • Can I use a commercial H2O2 solution?
    No. Commercial H2O2 solutions typically contain impurities and their concentrations of H2O2 are often unstable in actual measurements. We do not guarantee the parts for MCO-170AICUVH, MCO-230AICUVH and MCO-170MUVH and decontamination results when using any H2O2 solution other than the dedicated reagent purchased from PHCbi.
  • MCO-H2O2 what is the concentration of the H2O2 reagent?
    The 6% H2O2 is used for MCO-H2O2.
  • Why do you use a 6% MCO-H2O2 solution?
    This is the upper limit of concentration allowable before a change in classification is necessary where it would need to be handled as a general drug in Japan and USA. The MCO-170AICUVH, MCO-230AICUVH and MCO-170MUVH incubators are designed with this specific concentration for decontamination.
  • What temperature is needed for the storage of the H2O2 reagent?.
    Lower than 15°C. Do not freeze because it will affect concentration
  • How should I store H2O2 reagent (MCO-H2O2)?
    Before use store MCO-H2O2 reagent in a refrigerator. Please make sure not to freeze. Some household refrigerators may have poor temperature uniformity and regulation so please keep this in mind.
  • What happens if MCO-H2O2 is frozen? Is it OK to put it in a freezer when the expiration date has been exceeded?
    We have not conducted the actual measurement, but theoretically it is presumed that the amount of H2O2 solution is reduced once frozen.
  • Is it possible to put something that I want to decontaminate into the MCO-170AICUVH, MCO-230AICUVH and MCO-170MUVH incubators and decontaminate it with H2O2?
    We do not guarantee the decontamination effect with other non-incubator components. This is because H2O2 gas may not reach all areas, grooves, or corners of a different object, which would be required for decontamination.
  • How much ventilation is needed for the unit after H2O2 decontamination and before restarting cultures?
    It is unnecessary to perform ventilation, since the chamber air is ventilated while putting inner parts back to their original locations after decontamination. Water condensation that remains at the bottom of the unit or under the duct which may contain low concentrations of H2O2 should be wiped out.
  • I am reluctant to put my hand into the unit to put inner parts back after H2O2 decontamination. May this compromise the decontaminated condition?
    The purpose of H2O2 decontamination is to decontaminate the environment of the inner chamber, and not to maintain a sterile environment. Special facilities such as clean rooms are required to maintain a sterile environment. Any incubator with a door that allows air in and out is unable to maintain a sterile environment. High temperature sterilization incubators are subject to the same conditions.
  • How do you dispose of the remaining H2O2 solution?
    Please dispose in accordance with the regulation or law of each country or state. For example, the regulation in Japan calls for disposal of H2O2 after diluting it with a large volume of water. After usage of the H2O2 equipment, the insides of the H2O2 generator needs to be rinsed with distilled water.
  • Does H2O2 gas leak from the door gasket?
    No. If the vapor is created by heating, the air inside the chamber may leak to the outside because of volumetric expansion. However, there is no volumetric expansion for this product since the ultrasonic generator creates a cool mist