Difference between Incubator and BOD Incubator : Pharmaceutical Guidelines

Difference between Incubator and BOD Incubator

BOD incubators are used in pharmaceutical microbiological analysis to incubate the plates containing media. BOD incubator is different for normal incubator.
Incubation is the length of time in which humidity, temperature, among other environmental factors are utilized to provide the required growth and development level of microbial culture. Therefore, an incubator is a device which allows the incubation process to occur. Here, all optimal conditions for microbial culture growth are maintained. Incubator relies on the principle of thermo-electricity, where a thermal gradient is created through maintaining of a constant temperature by the thermostat possessed by the device.

The predetermined pressure, 37° Celsius, is set while power is being supplied to the incubator's circuit. This temperature is maintained by the compatibility operation of the major components; the temperature controller, temperature sensor, and temperature contactor. The term incubator is generally used to refer to the BOD incubators among other types of incubators which are designed to operate at different temperature levels. In the pharmaceutical industry, there exist two types of incubators, the bacteriological incubator and the BOD incubator.

BOD Incubator
Therefore, the difference between an incubator and BOD incubator is basically the temperature. As indicated above, a standard incubator is mainly run at 37° Celsius and has only the heating option. On the other hand, a BOD incubator has both heating and cooling options and it is mainly run at lower temperatures, like 10° Celsius. Another difference between an incubator and BOD incubator is revealed through their working principles. For instance, electricity is supplied via the Miniature Circuit Breakers before setting of the temperature through an advanced PID temperature regulator, mostly at 20° Celsius.

The BOD incubator is allowed to run for five days before which its refrigeration system starts immediately the temperature is set. Air is circulated inside the device' chamber by an axial fan. Once the temperature sensor detects the current temperature, it provides the PID controller with the necessary data, which in turn ensures that the set temperature remains constant for the desired period of time. On the contrary, an ordinary incubator's temperature is maintained by the compatibility running of temperature contactor, temperature controller, and temperature sensor.

When the incubator is switched on, current is supplied to the system, causing the contactor to be energized, which then powers the bulbs, or rather the system's elements. Once the system's temperature gets to 37° Celsius, the contactor is de-energized by an electrical signal sent by the digital temperature controller, therefore temporarily switching off the heaters. Reduction of temperature beyond the desired level (37° Celsius) causes re-energizing of the contactor hence switching on the system.

Generally, a normal incubator relies on ambient temperature for standard bacterial growth, has various primary heating arrangements, and it is bound to fail in cold weather. Despite the conditions of the room where it is placed, however, if the temperature remains ambient, it can still operate. On the other hand, a BOD incubator has complete control over its temperature considering the fact that it consists of both cooling and heating arrangements and provides a variation of plus or minus 0.5° Celsius over the set temperature. A BOD incubator has an environmental chamber which provides control over relative humidity and temperature.





Ankur Choudhary is India's first professional pharmaceutical blogger, author and founder of Pharmaceutical Guidelines, a widely-read pharmaceutical blog since 2008. Sign-up for the free email updates for your daily dose of pharmaceutical tips.
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