Major Equipments Involved in Microbiology

May 7th, 2014 by Acmas Leave a reply »

Microbiology is the branch of biology that deals with the study of biochemical, physiological and genetic aspects of microorganism and how these creatures/microorganisms interact with each other. Microbiology is a vast area it includes bacteriology, environmental microbiology, food microbiology, microbial ecology and many more. This branch of biology involves;

  • Working in or creating aseptic conditions
  • Observations, identification and classification of microorganism
  • Detection of harmful microorganisms by performing tests on water, food and the environment
  • Studying human diseases caused by microorganism
  • Isolation and culturing of specific microorganisms under controlled conditions.
  • Isolating, analyzing and genetically manipulating nucleic acids, proteins and other substances produced by microorganisms
  • Isolating and genetically modifying microorganisms involved in breaking down pollutants
  • Developing genetically modified microbes for use in the production of genetically engineered biological products (proteins) or for gene transfer.

Microbiology helps scientists and physicians in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of infection in animals and humans by investigating

  • How organisms cause disease and their role in disease processes
  • Factors contributing to the occurrence of diseases in a population
  • How epidemics can be controlled

A variety of specialized equipments are used in the microbiology, major equipments involved are:

Incubator shaker; the most common application of an Incubator Shaker in the Microbiology is for the growth of bacterial culture and other applications requiring both high temperatures and oscillation frequency.

An incubator Shaker uses an orbital agitation at variable speeds to affect the growth of cell cultures in addition to stable temperature conditions. Agitation speed and orbit affect both the aeration and the mixing of the cultures. Rate of cell growth increases with the increase in Oxygen transfer rate that depends on the aeration, in the other words the greater the aeration, greater is the Oxygen transfer rate and hence the rate of cell growth.

Autoclaves; An autoclave is a device that uses steam to sterilize equipment and other objects by subjecting them to high pressure saturated steam at 121 °C and 15 pounds of pressure per square inch depending for around 15–20 minutes on the size of the load and the contents.. This means that all bacteria, viruses, fungi, and spores are destroyed. Autoclaves work by allowing steam to enter and maintaining extremely high pressure for at least 15 minutes. Because damp heat is used, heat-labile products (such as some plastics) cannot be sterilized or they will melt.

Autoclave is commonly used for Moist Heat Sterilization. Moist heat is thought to kill microorganisms by causing denaturation or the coagulation of essential proteins. Autoclaving 121ºC/15 psi for 15 minutes exceeds the thermal death time for most organisms except some extraordinary spore formers .The time required to kill a known population of microorganisms in a specific suspension at a particular temperature is referred to as thermal death time (TDT). Temperature is inversely proportional to TDT. Processes conducted under high temperatures for short periods of time are preferred over lower temperatures for longer   times.
Lamina Air flow; Laminar Air Flow is an enclosed bench designed to prevent contaminations like biological particles (SPM) or any particle sensitive device. This closed cabinet is usually made up of stainless steel without any gap or joints where spores might collect.

Air is drawn through a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters and blown in a very smooth flow or streamline flow (when a fluid flows in a parallel layer with no disruption between the layers). There are two types of laminar air flow

  • Vertical
  • Horizontal

(Both types of hoods have continuous displacement of air that passes through a HEPA (high efficiency particle) filter that removes particulates from the air. In a vertical hood, the filtered air blows down from the top of the cabinet; in a horizontal hood, the filtered air blows out at the operator in a horizontal fashion.)

Centrifuge; A centrifuge uses centrifugal force to isolate suspended particles from their surrounding medium on either a batch or a continuous-flow basis. A centrifuge utilizes density difference between the particles/macromolecules and the medium in which these are dispersed and Dispersed systems are subjected to artificially induced gravitational fields.


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