Authentic physoxia in a bench-top hypoxia incubator/workstation
In the field of tissue culture, there is a rapidly growing appreciation that a physiological cellular oxygen environment is essential for the analysis of cellular processes with respect to function and metabolism.
Rising to this challenge, Oxford Optronix has developed the HypoxyLab™ – a fully-featured, ergonomically engineered and easy to use normoxia/hypoxia workstation that provides a HEPA-filtered environment in which oxygen, carbon dioxide, temperature and humidity can be precisely controlled.
In short, HypoxyLab™ is a compact hypoxia workstation and incubator for everyday use, suitable for applications including,
As every scientist knows, it’s the partial pressure of oxygen that reflects the oxygen that cells actually ‘see’. The partial pressure of oxygen varies not only with oxygen concentration in the atmosphere, but also with altitude and prevailing weather conditions. For this reason we believe it is insufficient to express hypoxia in terms of a barometrically uncompensated percent oxygen concentration alone. HypoxyLab is therefore the world’s first and only hypoxia workstation that directly regulates its environment using the partial pressure of oxygen, expressed in absolute units of mmHg or kPa, making it insensitive to changing climatic conditions or the altitude of the laboratory. This scientifically rigorous approach provides researchers the ability to replicate physiological oxygen in vitro, at the highest levels of accuracy and reproducibility.
See our related article, “The Reproducibility Issue within Hypoxia Chambers and a Simple Solution to Fix it“
HypoxyLab creates a fully humidified, stable hypoxia environment less than 20 minutes from switch-on and can deliver stable, near-anoxia conditions in under an hour, all while consuming surprisingly little nitrogen gas. Environmental conditions are delivered using digital gas flow controllers and state-of-the-art sensors for unrivalled performance with an oxygen accuracy of up to +/- 1 mmHg.
HypoxyLab’s smart letterbox entry system affords quick and easy transfer of cell plates and accessories into or out of the chamber without the need for an air lock or isolation hatch. HypoxyLab automatically senses when items are passed through the hatch, and temporarily generates a slight over-pressure to prevent ingress of external atmosphere. This immediate response ensures that oxygen concentrations within the chamber remain stable at all times.
See our related article and video demonstration, “The HypoxyLab smart easy-entry system“
Chamber oxygen, CO2, humidity and temperature are all set and controlled from the intuitively designed, integrated touchscreen, which simultaneously displays the current real-time levels of these parameters in both digital and trace formats.
A fully customizable oxygen profile program is available from the touch screen, with which the HypoxyLab can be set to automatically subject cells to up to 8 sequentially defined oxygen concentrations, including an option to keep looping the program.
The HypoxyLab features a 6 mm stainless steel pass-thru waste port as standard, allowing for the aspiration of media, supernatants etc. within the chamber via an external vacuum pump.
The 4 key environmental parameters are continuously recorded onto internal flash memory and can be exported to a USB flash drive via a port at the rear of the HypoxyLab at any time. Data files can be analyzed and played back using the free LabChart® Reader by ADInstruments.
HypoxyLab supports the measurement of dissolved oxygen directly from media or cell cultures using any of our OxyLite™ oxygen monitors and a dedicated, sealable side-gland via which an OxyLite oxygen sensor can be fed into the chamber. Considered the ‘gold standard’ for biological applications, the OxyLite sensor is a tiny, highly accurate oxygen sensor that does not itself consume oxygen and that can be positioned anywhere within media or cell cultures to obtain continuous dissolved oxygen measurements. This provides a measure of oxygen availability in the microenvironment where cells are actually growing. Oxygen readings (in mmHg) can be read from the OxyLite display or can even be displayed and recorded by the HypoxyLab itself.
HypoxyLab includes a built-in UV source within the water reservoir and a user replaceable HEPA filter that continuously scrubs the chamber atmosphere, ensuring that cultures and media are protected from contamination.
HypoxyLab’s lightweight and durable cover can be easily removed. This not only allows for easy loading of media and consumables but makes routine cleaning and disinfecting of the workstation a practical reality. Its ergonomic design ensures natural, relaxed operation, with an angled vision panel combined with adjustable LED illumination that provide excellent visibility.
We have teamed with CytoSMART™ to offer the Lux2 digital microscope system, an extremely compact digital microscope solution that can be deployed within the HypoxyLab and is built to withstand long-term exposure to tissue culture environments. The system is supplied with software for installation on a PC kept outside the HypoxyLab and on which live cell culture images are displayed. The CytoSMART™ Lux2 supports time-lapse recording and cloud-based data access.
HypoxyLab’s compact and considered design ensures rapid equilibration to set points combined with frugal gas consumption. Service-free sensors and a user changeable HEPA filter simplify routine maintenance and minimize the long-term cost of owning a HypoxyLab.