PF and F has recently completed the production of a bespoke agar-drying cabinet for the division of Biomedical Science at the University of Bradford.
The new 'ADC' unit is the latest addition to the PF and F product range and is designed to enable agar plates to be dried cleanly and effectively in readiness for inoculation with bacteria and other agents.
The preparation of an agar plate involves first pouring the agar and then allowing it to set.
An essential part of the preparation process is then to dry the surface moisture, because introducing bacteria or other materials directly onto a liquid surface would lead to their rapid and uncontrolled dispersal across the plate, rendering the production of single colonies impossible.
Most agar plates can be left to dry on an ordinary work bench, but certain specialist agars, including those that are mixed with temperature-sensitive materials such as blood, egg yolk and antibiotics, require refrigeration and therefore need additional help to dry.
It was for this purpose that the university required the new cabinet.
Following detailed discussions, PF and F's design team proposed a product that would maintain a steady, temperature-controlled airflow and recommended that the incoming air be pre-filtered in order to prevent accidental contamination of the agar by airborne bacteria or other materials.
Another requirement was that the system should be capable of drying a large number of plates simultaneously so as to keep pace with the biomedical science division's busy timetable.
The finished ADC unit creates ideal drying conditions by first taking air into its lower chamber through a pre-filter and introducing thermostatically controlled heat.
The warmed air then passes through a HEPA filter into the drying area itself, which is fitted with multiple drying racks.
Finally, the air is exhausted via a third filter, thereby creating a steady laminar flow.
Featuring a low-noise centrifugal fan and a low airflow indicator, the ADC is a standalone cabinet that can be supplied as a bench-top or free-standing unit.
Made of epoxy-coated steel with clear acrylic windows, it is available with single or twin doors, which are lockable for added security.
Its typical dimensions are 1,200 x 500 x 800mm, but special sizes can be manufactured to order.
It is simple to operate and requires only a standard, single-phase 230V 50Hz electrical supply.