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What To Look For Before Purchasing A New Shaker?

Purchasing a new shaker may appear to be a simple task. You could choose the same model, the cheapest version, or the shaker with the shortest delivery time. Well, there is nothing to worry about because it’s a simple standard product, and anything will suffice. However, this approach overlooks an important consideration: what quality of results can you expect at the end of your bioprocess?

This blog by Molecular Biology Products will tell you everything you need to know about shakers and what to look for before purchasing one.

Molecular Biology Products is well known for Rainin Pipette Tips, Vortexers, and Filter tips. So, let’s get back to the blog and learn about shakers used in chemistry and biological labs.

Consider The Capacity You Need

Your total requirement is expressed in liters of culture, biomass, or the number of separate experiments for screening and statistical analysis.

What method will be used to grow the cultures: volume per well, tube, or flask?

This should determine capacity in terms of culture vessel count. The filling volume for each vessel also contributes to this. A shake flask typically fills to around 20% of its total volume, but a filling volume of 10-15% can achieve much better oxygenation. This can double the number of shake flasks required, but increased biomass yield may require fewer flasks.

Will the containers all be the same kind?

Containers may be a tray of 2 Liter shake flasks, a mixture of 10 x 250 mL flasks, and some 500 mL flasks. This level of adaptability will necessitate universal trays, which may reduce overall capacity while increasing usage.

Type Of Culture Vessel You Use

The shaker now serves a purpose other than traditional Erlenmeyer flasks. Shake flasks come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including wide, single-use flasks, and special flasks for high-density culture. Racks for test tubes are also commonly used in conjunction with shake flasks. 

When choosing a dedicated rack, ensure it can be angled to improve mixing and encourage growth. Finally, modern screening and design of experiment (DoE) studies can be carried out in various microwell plate configurations. When this is the primary use of a shaker, a dedicated unit with a short 3 mm shaking throw, humidification, and special trays can increase the number of experiments while also improving the quality of the results.

Culture vessels for shakers: 

The following are the culture vessels for shakers:

  • Shake flasks 
  • Microwell plates 
  • Test tubes 

The total number and type of culture vessels and their weight, height, and distribution on the shaker tray are required to determine the number of units needed.

Type Of Organisms You Will Be Culturing

This is critical for end-users (who may or may not be the specifiers). The type of organism to be cultured can significantly impact the shaker specifications. A standard incubator shaker with a 25 mm throw and essential temperature control will suffice for bacteria and yeast. Cell cultures from insects and mammals are at the opposite end of the required spectrum. They are more vulnerable to shear stress, are affected by more environmental conditions, and are more prone to contamination.

The key parameters to consider are:

  • Shaking throw 
  • Shaking speed 
  • Humidification 
  • Temperature range 

Conclusive Thoughts

The importance of finding a high-quality shaker solution cannot be overstated. It serves as the foundation for all subsequent production, scale-up, and experimental research. The effects of poor control, construction, and design on cultural conditions argue for using proven equipment.

So, this was all about shakers and top considerations before purchasing one. If you are looking for a shaker, contact Molecular Biology Products. We have Orbit 300 Multipurpose Digital Vortexer, a multipurpose shaker, which is best suitable for many purposes. You can also contact us to purchase 96 Well Plate and PCR Plates.

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