Best Practices to Avoid Incubator Contamination

Written By: Kevin Theis

Reducing contamination in your incubator is a continuous challenge. One of the easiest things to start with is to choose cell culture equipment that guards against contamination – equipment that is focused on temperature, gas concentrations and humidity.

  • Install your incubator where there is minimal foot traffic and where air disturbance is reduced.
  • Avoid installing your incubator near window air conditioners, ceiling or floor HVAC air diffusers or return air intakes, all of which are sources of airborne contamination
  • The CO2 or other gas supply tubing should be fitted with a 0.3 micron filter prior to flow into the incubator solenoid controls. Using a long tubing section makes it easy to access the filter cartridge to replace the filter medium.
  • Use a 70% ethanol solution to wipe down the interior or your incubator. Intentional dilution is to give the ethanol time to kill the contaminant before the ethanol evaporates.
  • Make sure cell culture apparatus such as orbital or reciprocal shakers, rockers, cell bottle rollers, magnetic stirrers and other devices are free of contaminants before they are placed in the incubator.


Learn how to lessen contamination risks and help improve your reproducibility. Download our application note “Mitigating Contamination in the Cell Culture Incubator.”

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President, DAI Scientific

Kevin is the owner, president and a sales rep for DAI Scientific. He brings over 25 years of experience working with customers in academic, clinical, industrial and bio/pharma laboratories. Kevin plays an important role in DAI’s direction and strategy, and he regularly works with architects, engineers and lab planners to ensure that products work with their designs and fit their intended application. He also prides himself on being up to date with industry developments and advancements; he frequently attends seminars to educate himself to better serve his clients.

Kevin enjoys his secondary role as a sales rep for DAI because it keeps him in touch with customer needs and helps inform future requirements of the industry. Under Kevin’s direction, DAI achieved the 16 Million Dollar Club award in 2019 and received Lancer’s “Outstanding Sales Performance” award in 2017, 2015 and 2012.

Kevin’s background includes a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

Awards received:
2012, 2015, 2017 from Lancer for “Outstanding Sales Performance”
2025 Elitech for “#1 in Instrument Sales”
PHC (Formally Panasonic and Sanyo) Has given us several awards as we passed certain milestones.
16 Million Dollar Club 2019
11 million Dollar Club 2018
10 million dollar club 2015
5 million dollar club 2011