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Microbiology Lab Supplies & Equipment

Microbiology Lab Supplies & Equipment

Microbiology is essential for the study and understanding of all life on the planet. Like the ever-growing science of microbiology, there are also many breakthroughs in instruments and equipment that have enabled more intricate and accurate research in the lab.

Let Avantor help you with your all-important microbiology laboratory equipment needs.

Microbiology overview

Microbiology, the study of living organisms too small to be visible with the naked eye, focuses on the structure, function, and classification of these organisms and looks for ways to exploit and control their activities.

They include bacteria, archaea, viruses, fungi, prions, protozoa and algae. Because of their versatility, these organisms, classified as microbes, can be put to work in many ways: making life-saving drugs, the manufacture of biofuels, cleaning up pollution, or for processing food and drink. Microbes are vitally important to virtually all processes on Earth because they affect every aspect of our lives – they are in us, on us and around us.

Microbiology in the laboratory

A microbiology laboratory is a lab devoted to the culturing, examining, and identifying microorganisms including bacteria, fungi, yeasts, etc. The microbiology laboratory is crucial in effective infection prevention and control (IPC).

Microbiology laboratories are the first lines of defense for detecting new antibiotic resistance, outbreaks of foodborne infection, or a possible bioterrorism event. Maintaining high-quality clinical microbiology laboratories is critical for managing emerging infectious diseases and antimicrobial agent resistance.

Microbiology lab equipment should be able to determine the most frequent microbes causing healthcare-associated infections and perform at least some basic classification of microorganisms for epidemiologic evaluations.

One of the major areas of applied microbiology is biotechnology. In this discipline, microorganisms are used as “living factories” to produce pharmaceuticals that otherwise could not be manufactured. Some substances produced this way include the human hormone insulin, the antiviral substance interferon, numerous blood‐clotting factors and clot-dissolving enzymes, and also a number of vaccines.

Avantor offers a wide range of microbiology lab equipment to help with tasks from the identifying micro-organisms to monitoring air and surfaces, testing sterile and non-sterile pharmaceuticals, and detecting food pathogens.

Microbiology lab equipment -- 6 essential choices for every lab:

  1. Microscopes and slides:

    Microbiology began with the development of the microscope. Different types of microscopes are used for visual observation of bacteria morphology, motility, staining and fluorescent reactions. As for slides, the choices are numerous, depending on a lab’s function -- including regular flat glass slides, concave slides for holding a liquid sample, and slides with grids printed on them to help count cells.

  2. Hot plates:

    Hot plates support a variety of essential laboratory procedures and are used for heating lab samples, chemicals and reagents. They are considered much safer than traditional Bunsen burners because no open flame is involved.

  3. Refrigerator:

    Refrigerators serve as a repository for thermo-sensitive chemicals, solutions, antibiotics, serums and biochemical reagents kept at cooler temperatures and sub-zero temperatures. Stock cultures of bacteria are also stored in a refrigerator between sub-culturing periods. It is also used for the storage of sterilized media to prevent their dehydration. Most microbiology labs have several refrigerators to address differing scientific needs.

  4. Autoclave:

    An Autoclave is the nucleus of a microbiology laboratory. It is used not only to sterilize liquid substances such as prepared media and saline solutions but also to sterilize glassware when required. It has the same working principle as a domestic pressure cooker. Autoclaving is a very effective method that kills all microbes, spores, and viruses, although, for some specific bugs, especially high temperatures or incubation times are required.

  5. Microbiological incubator:

    The profuse growth of microbes is obtained in the laboratory by growing them at suitable temperatures for the growth of a specific microbe. This is done by inoculating the desired microbe into a suitable culture medium and then incubating it at a constant temperature optimum for its growth.

    Avantor Forced Air incubators provide an even higher temperature uniformity and stability for reproducible results in microbiology and research labs.

  6. Laminar flow hood/cabinet:

    A Laminar flow hood/ cabinet is an enclosed workstation used to create a contamination-free work environment through a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filtered airflow system. It provides an aseptic environment to perform different experiments. Laboratories extensively use it to maintain the aseptic or contaminant-free working atmosphere.

What to consider when purchasing microbiology equipment

Buying microbiology lab equipment can be daunting with all of the equipment available today. However, if you compromise on quality, it can compromise your service delivery and the integrity of your results. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind when buying lab equipment.

Budget

Take the time to research equipment suppliers offering your choice of equipment at competitive rates—while being careful not to compromise on equipment quality based on price.

It’s important to be very mindful of your budget, but also to purchase wisely with long-term benefits in mind. A “spending now to save later” approach is about identifying the right product that will provide the safest, best suited and longest lasting benefits to your lab.

It’s common that higher up-front equipment cost will provide greater cost benefits through reduced need for maintenance or possible replacement in the near future.

Higher performing and higher quality equipment, products and services provide greater safety, productivity and economic outcomes. While evaluating potential equipment purchases, keep in mind that industry certified and regulatory compliant products are designed and tested for safety and performance. Being safe and productive in a microbiology lab is imperative.

Brand and quality

Before buying a particular type of equipment for your lab, do a detailed evaluation of your desired technical specifications and features. Compare the features of different models or brands and pick the one that can best serve your requirements. Avantor’s wide range of high-quality equipment choices can make this step easier.

Ease of Use

Prioritize your search for equipment that matches the skill set of you and your team. Equipment with too many complex features will also complicate your work. Go for user-friendly equipment that more easily supports the procedures you conduct in the lab. Consider the size of your lab too – is it spacious enough for the kind of equipment you want to buy? Some bench-top models can save on space while performing as efficiently as a larger-sized version.

Warranty and after-purchase care

Reach out to the manufacturer or seller to learn about the warranty period and the kind of support provided post-purchase. A good product warranty (and aftercare) for your lab equipment is critically important to the reliability and steady performance of your lab.

Explore our microbiology lab supply capabilities

Because microbiology is so diverse, its future growth is unlimited. There will be a need for more rapid diagnoses, increased standardization of testing and greater adaptability to cope with new threats from infectious microorganisms, such as agents of bioterrorism and emerging pathogens.

Avantor® can help equip your microbiology lab with the products and supplies you'll need -- from microscopes, slides, test tubes, and petri dishes to pipettes, tips, incubators, autoclaves, and laminar flow hoods.

We have the knowledge, products, and global reach to help enable the advancement of microbiological research in laboratories throughout the world.