How Carbon Dioxide Incubators Work & How Leasing One Benefits Laboratories

Excedr - CO2 Incubators

No matter what your cell culture incubator needs are, Excedr can assist your lab. Contact us today and learn how, regardless of the make, model, or configuration our leasing program can save you time and money procuring your gassed incubator device.

All equipment brands/models are available

The Advantages of Excedr’s CO2 Incubator Leasing Program:

  • Eliminates the upfront cost of purchasing equipment by spreading its cost over time
  • Minimizes equipment downtime with included complete repair coverage and preventive maintenance
  • Takes advantage of potentially 100% tax deductible* payments, providing you significant cash-savings
  • Expedites the administrative work needed for instrument procurement and logistics
  • Conserves working capital,  enabling you to reinvest in your core business and operations (staffing, inventory, marketing/sales, etc.)
  • Accommodates all manufacturer and model preferences

*Please consult your tax advisor to determine the full tax implications of leasing equipment.

a microplate well leaning against a graduated cylinder on top of glassware storage

Testing biological cells out of their natural environment is a vital part of medical, environmental, and pharmaceutical research.

While testing, the cells are in a different environment than their normal one and begin to degrade or change. Carbon dioxide incubators, also referred to as gassed incubators and cell culture incubators, have been developed to allow for cell cultures and tissue cultures to grow in conditions that simulate the cell’s natural environment. 

The in-vitro cultivation of living organisms offers sterile conditions and allows the tester to control many different environmental conditions. CO2 incubators are used to maintain, expand, or culture cells samples over a period of time ranging from hours to weeks.

These incubators are kept at a constant temperature and humidity, while the amount of oxygen and CO2 that are present remains consistent thanks to CO2 sensors (either a thermal conductivity or IR sensor) that monitor the levels of carbon dioxide inside the incubator. Furthermore, optional parts can be used, such as in-chamber HEPA filtration system. The HEPA filter provides ISO-5 cleanroom air quality in the chamber within 5 minutes after every door opening.

Cell culture incubators attempt to recreate conditions that are identical to the cell’s natural environment. They offer control over temperature, humidity, and hypoxic condition. Hypoxia is a medical condition where the body does not have a lot of oxygen in it. For incubators, the amount of oxygen that is allowed in it is referred to as the hypoxic conditions. 

In addition to their environmental controls, they also provide germ-free conditions for cell growth. This is done through the use of rust-resistant, non-corrosive materials lining the internal structure of the incubator. Stainless steel is the most common material used and is considered the industry standard. 

The temperature range of an incubator generally falls between 4 to 50°C. Maintaining a constant temperature is important for cell culturing because volatility can be detrimental to cellular health, which would ultimately skew the results of the experimental assay.

Water jackets and electric coils are the two main techniques used to keep the temperature consistent inside the incubator. Proper humidification is also vital to ensure that the cell cultures do not become unusable by drying out. 

Relative humidity within the incubator chamber is normally kept between 95% to 98%. This is achieved either by the use of an atomizer system or by a water reservoir. CO2 and O2 concentrations can alter a cell’s development and need to be controlled to ensure that the cells grow correctly. The whole incubator should provide a totally homogenous environment that promotes cell growth. 

Cell Culture Incubator Instrumentation, Techniques, & Price

a hand face up balancing a screw on its index finger

Though the basics of CO2 incubators are fairly similar across makes and models, there is variation in the specific techniques of devices that are used. All incubators have housings, insulation, interior chambers, temperature control units, humidity control units, and gas concentration units. Temperature control and which material is used for the chamber can vary across model types depending on what is needed.

Furthermore, many models available today feature an intuitive touch screen interface, providing you with a simple way to program your device and monitor alarms, airflow, and temperature settings.

Stainless Steel Chamber

Part of maintaining an environment that encourages cell growth relies on ensuring that there are no germs or other contaminants that develop inside the incubator.

The most common solution to this problem is to use stainless steel, a non-corrosive metal. The interior is smooth and therefore does not have any of the sharp corners, welds, or seams where bacteria normally like to collect.

Stainless steel is also non-porous, making decontamination a simpler process.


Copper Chamber

Though not as popular as stainless steel, copper is also used as a material for the container. Copper and its alloys have inherent antimicrobial properties which are not fully understood.

However, it has been verified that when copper interacts with proteins or other microbial materials it destroys them.

Specifically, brass, a copper alloy, has been observed releasing copper ions that killed fecal bacteria.


Water-Jacketed Temperature Control

Maintaining an environment with a steady temperature is vital to ensuring that cell culturing proceeds as intended. Fluctuations could damage the cells making them entirely useless. Water-jacket insulation controls the temperature in the incubator by circulating water through the walls of the chamber.

Water is able to retain heat longer than air, so having the entire container surrounded by heated water helps to insulate the incubation chamber. This results in the internal temperature being able to withstand fluctuations of temperature in the surrounding environment. Water-jacketed incubators can even maintain their temperature in the event of a power outage.


Air-Jacketed Temperature Control

Also referred to as forced air CO2 incubators, this is a thermal insulation technique similar to water-jacketed incubators.

The interior chamber of an air-jacketed incubator has an additional wall surrounding it. In between those two walls, a heated current of air is circulated, providing thermal insulation.

Air can be heated much faster than water which makes the setup process easier. Additionally, the air that is circulated can be heated to the point where it is sterilized.


Direct Heat Temperature Control

Water-jacketed incubators are useful, but due to the added weight of the water, they can be heavy.

Additionally, the water needs to be kept clean from contaminants like algae. Direct heat offers an efficient and lightweight alternative.

With electric coils that are on every surface of the interior chamber, direct heat incubators use the radiated heat to control the temperature. A large advantage of direct heat incubators is their ease of use and setup.


Sterilization Cycle

Incubator sterilization cycles involve subjecting the unit to a number of phases, typically comprising a heating phase, sterilizing phase, and a cooldown phase. After the cycle has been completed, the incubator returns to its set temperature.

Three of the more common methods of incubator sterilization that manufacturers provide include dry heat sterilization, moist heat sterilization, and UV sterilization.

Dry Heat Sterilization:

This method sterilizes the incubator by heating the unit to 160-180°C for several hours. High temperature dry heat causes cell death through protein denaturation, nucleic acid destruction, and desiccation.

High heat dry sterilization will kill bacteria in the chamber that may be located in hard to reach crevice, such as the undersides of shelving units and within the shelf mounting hardware. In fact, it can serve as a substitute for having to remove all your shelving to autoclave it.

Incubators that use dry-heat sterilization are akin to an oven with a self-cleaning cycle. Both are designed to handle much higher heat loads than typical operating conditions without experiencing damage or presenting hazards.

Moist Heat Sterilization:

This method of sterilization is used when an incubator cannot withstand exposure to the high temperatures of dry heat sterilization.

A moist heat decontamination cycle performs sterilization by combining a high temperature (lower than dry heat) with steam pressure. Moist heat also causes cell death through protein denaturation. This method is considered less effective than dry heat sterilization or autoclaving.

UV Sterilization:

UV sterilization generates an antimicrobial effect by the damage it causes to a microorganism’s DNA when aromatic nucleotides absorb high energy photons. In other words, UV light can break down certain chemical bonds and scramble the structure of DNA, RNA, or proteins. This can make UV sterilization an effective solution to reduce contamination in an incubator chamber.


The Advanced Biological Research System Aboard the ISS

Aboard the International Space Station (ISS) there is a whole lab that is devoted to biological studies in microgravity conditions. The unique environment that ISS is in has opened up whole new areas of study in the field of biology.

The Advanced Biological Research System, a single locker system providing two growth chambers, grew the first tree to ever be grown in space. The BioLab Experiment Laboratory observes microgravity and space radiation’s effect on microorganisms and cells.

Due to space’s unique characteristics, maintaining good cell cultures can be a challenge. Since cell cultures are vital to the biological research lab aboard the ISS, they have many incubators that serve a variety of purposes.


We Offer Gassed Incubator Leases to Fit Every Need

three shapes shown one after another: an erlenmeyer flask, boiling flask, and graduated cylinder

CO2 incubators are commonly used in life sciences laboratories performing any cell-related work. If you’re interested in leasing one of these devices, we can help. 

In addition to CO2 incubators, we lease a wide variety of other general lab equipment, such as autoclaves and bioreactors, and can help you get all the equipment needed to support and streamline your laboratory workflows. Reach out today by calling (510) 982-6552 or filling out our contact form.

Operating Lease

This off-balance sheet financing structure provides three options at the end of the term. The lessee has the option to return the equipment to the lessor, renew at a discounted rate, or purchase the instrument for the fair market value. Monthly payments are also 100% tax deductible which yields additional monetary savings.


If you recently bought equipment, Excedr can offer you cash for your device and convert your purchase into a long-term rental. This is called a sale-leaseback. If you’ve paid for equipment within the last ninety days, we can help you recoup your investment and allow you to make low monthly payments. This also frees up money in your budget rather than tying it down to a fixed asset.

CO2 Incubator Manufacturers u0026 Models
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ThermoFisher Scientific:
Heracell 150i, Heracell 240i, Heracell VIOS 160i, Heracell VIOS 160i tri-gas, Heracell VIOS 160i with Cell Locker System, Heracell VIOS 250i, Heracell VIOS 250i tri-gas, Forma 310 Direct Heat, Forma Steri-Cycle, Forma Steri-Cycle i160, Forma Steri-Cult, Forma Series II 3110 Water Jacketed, Forma Series 3 Water Jacketed, BBD 6220, Large-Capacity Reach-in CO2 Incubator

CellXpert C170, CellXpert C170i, Galaxy 48 R,New Brunswick S41i
VWR International

Caron Products:
Wally series, 7410-5, 7411-5, 7420-5, Oasis series, Oasis 6400 series, Refrigerated 7001 series, Heated 7002 series, Heated/Humidified 7003 series, Reach-in 7400 series, Reach-in 7401 series, Reach-in 7402 series, 7403 series, GelJacket 7404 series

Cell-IQ Series, CytoGrow CO2, CytoGrow Stackable, CytoGrow ReachIn, MCO-5M multi-gas MIR Heated Incubators, MIR Cooled Incubators, MLR Climate Test Chambers

Stuart Equipment:
SI60, SI60D, SI60/1, SI60/2, SI19, SI505, SSM51, SSM52, SSM53, SI505/IQOQ, SI500, SI500/IQOQ, SI600, SI600/IQOQ, SI600C, SI30H

Hybrigene HB-3D, Hybridiser HB-1D

S-Bt Smart biotherm, Orbital Shaker-Incubator, ES-20, ES-20/60, ES-20/80

Series C, C170, Series CB, CB 60, CB 170, CB 220, Series B Classic.Line, Series BD Avantgarde.Line, Series BD Classic.Line, Series BD-S Solid.Line, Series BF Avantgarde.Line, Series BF Classic.Line, Series KT, Series KB, Series KBW, Series KBWF

Yamato Scientific:
IC Series, IN Series, INE800

Benchmark Scientific:
ST-45, ST-45 PLUS, ST-180, ST-180 PLUS, myTemp Mini CO2, myTemp H Mini Digital, MyTemp HC Mini Digital, SureTemp Precision, myTemp 65HC, Incu-Shaker C02 Mini, Incu-Shaker, Incu-Shaker Mini, Incu-Shaker 10L, Incu-Shaker 10LR, MultiTherm Heating/Cooling Vortexer, MultiTherm Shaker, Incu-Mixer MP, Incu-Mixer MP2, Incu-Mixer MP4

BioSpa 8 Automated

Kuhner AG:
ISF1-X (Climo-Shaker), ISF4-X (Climo-Shaker), LT-X (Lab-Therm)

C16, C60, C200, C201, Labo C-Top, Labo C-Top with SAFE Sens pH monitoring, CellTrans 2018, Thermo Cell Transporter 3018

ICOmed series, ICO50med, ICO105med, ICO150med, ICO240med, IVF module for ICOmed, ICO50med IVF, ICO105med IVF, Compressor-cooled ICPeco, Incubator Im series, Peltier-cooled IPP series

HettCube 200, HettCube 200R, HettCube 400, HettCube 400R, HettCube 600, HettCube 600R

ZOCR-1150B, ZXDB series, ZXGP series, ZXMP series, ZXSD series, ZWYR series, ZWFR series, ZWY series, ZWF series

Shel Lab:
SCO series, SMI series, SRI series, SSI series

Living Cell Instrument (LCI):
Stage-top Incubator System T, TU-O-10, TU-C-10, TU-H-10, TU-C-20, TU-O-20, TU-H-20, Chamlide, Chamlide CMB

BJPX-C50, BJPX-C80, BJPX-C160, BJPX-A series, BJPX-A(II) series, BJPX-B series, BJPX-G series, BJPX-HT series, BJPX-HT(II) series, BJPX-L series, BJPX-L(II) series, BJPX-M series, BJPX-M(II) series, BJPX-M(III) series, BJPX-P series

In-VitroCell ES NU-5700, NU-5710, NU-5720, NU-5731, NU-5741, NU-5800, NU-5810, NU-5820, NU-5831, NU-5841, NU-8600, NU-8631

MMM Medcenter Einrichtungen GmbH (MMM Group):
CO2CELL line, CO2CELL Standard line, CO2CELL Comfort line, INCUCELL line, INCUCELL ECO line, INCUCELL EVO line, INCUCELL V line, INCUCELL ECO line, INCUCELL V EVO line, Friocell line, Friocell ECO line, Friocell EVO line, Climacell line, Climacell ECO line, Climacell EVO line

MedFuture LLC:
MF-IC series, MF-IC-II series, MF-IH series, MF-IH-II series, MF-IB series, MF-IB-II series, MF-IB-III series, MF-I series, MF-IP series, MF-IP10, MF-IP20, MF-IP-II series, MF-I103B, MF-I100B, MF-I200B

Boekel Scientific:

VELP Scientifica:
FOC 120E, FOC 120I, FOC 215E, FOC 215I, FOC 215IL, FTC 120

Culture Safe TOUCH Range, Safe Touch 190, Safe Touch 190S, T190, T190, Mini Culture Safe TOUCH, Mini Safe Touch 50, Mini Safe Touch 50S, T50, T50S, Culture Safe PRECISION Range, Safe Precision 190, Safe Precision 190D, P190, P190D, Mini Culture Safe PRECISION, Safe Precision 50, P50, Research GA2000, Standard GA2010, Research GA3000, Standard GA3010, Precision Cooled Range

[email protected] PRO, Safegrow PRO, [email protected] 188, SafeGrow 188

KW Apparecchi Scientifici:
Incubators and Agitators for Platelets, T range, W48RT, W96RT, W18RT, W85RF, WR-KWAP

Jisico Lab and Scientific Instruments:

Heal Force Bio-medtech:
HF100, HF90, HF240, HF151UV, HF212UV, HF160W

Series ID, ID-20, ID-40, ID-50, ID-90, ID-150, ID-288, ID-480, ID-720, Series IRE, IRE-160, IRE-240, IRE-475

EC 160 CO2, EN 055, EN 120, EN 300, EN 400, EN 500, ES 120, ES 252

Esco Medical:
CelCulture, Mini Miri Benchtop, Miri Benchtop Multi-room

Maan Labs

Vision Scientific Co. Ltd.:
VS-9000C, VS-9000GC, VS-9160C, VS-9160GC, VS-2050CW, VS-2180CW, VS-2050COW, VS-2180COW, VS-2050C7, VS-2180C7, VS-2050CO7, VS-2180CO7, VS-2180C7R, VS-2180CO7R, VS-2180C7S, VS-2180CO7R, VS-2180C7S, VS-2180CO7S, VS-2610C7, VS-2880C7, VS-2610CO7, VS-2880CO7, VS-2050C, VS-2180C, VS-2050CO, VS-2180CO, VS-3155i, VS-3250i, VS-1203P1S, VS-1203S, VS-3230Mi, VS-1203P-D, VS-5600A, VS-312Bi, VS-3150Bi, VS-3250Bi, VS-3432Bi, VS-35=250Bi-C, VS-320Bi-DM, VS-3125Di, VS-3250Di, VS-3125Qi, VS-3125QiC, VS-101Si, VS-101SiDR, VS-8480S, VS-8480SF, VS-8480SN, VS-8480SFN, VS-8480SR, VS-8480SRN, VS-8480SL, VS-8480MX2, VS-8480MX4, VS-8480MX2-DT, VS-8480MX4-DT

Shanghai Boxun Medical Biological Instrument Corp.:
BC-J80, BC-J160, BC-J250, BC-J160,SPX series, BSP series, MJX series, BMJ series, BSC series, BSG series, BIC series, BXG series, D series, BSD series, BSD-YX series, BSD-YX(F) series, BSD-WX series, BSD-WX(F) series, BSD-TX series, BSD-TF series, HPX series, BPX series, BXP series, GSP series, BG series

and more!


Operating Capital Benefits

Operating Capital Benefits

Excedr's operating lease structure allows you to keep your business credit line open for expansions, staffing, and other operational expenses. Additionally, it strengthens the cash flow of your business and keeps cash reserves free for business development opportunities.

Effects on Credit

Effects on Credit

Leasing / renting provides you with non-dilutive financing and does not hinder your future borrowing ability. You're able to acquire the equipment you need without the baggage associated with traditional financing.

Speed of Approval

Speed of Approval

Excedr's program allows you to respond quickly as your need for equipment and technology arises. You can be approved with minimal documentation and have the equipment you need in operation and generating revenue for your business quickly.

Refurbished Equipment

Refurbished Equipment

Unlike traditional financing and leasing companies, the Excedr program can accommodate refurbished equipment in addition to demo units. If you are looking for additional cost-savings, we recommend considering this option.