What is a Laboratory Water Bath?
A Laboratory Water Bath, also known as a Serology Water Bath or Thermostatic Water Bath, is a container filled with heated water that is used to incubate samples at a constant temperature for long periods. A laboratory water bath is most commonly used during incubation in microbiological laboratory work because water can retain heat so well, but can also enable chemical reactions to occur once the water reaches a certain temperature.
Laboratory water baths are generally used when the required temperature is below 100°C. For higher temperatures, alternative methods such as oil baths, silicone baths or sand baths should be used.
How does a Laboratory Water Bath Work?
The user can control the temperature of a serology water bath by using a digital or analogue interface. A light will usually indicate that the water bath is working, and once the correct temperature has been reached the water bath will turn on and off to maintain the constant temperature. Certain laboratory water baths have a safety setting preventing the water from heating to a higher temperature.
Different types of thermostatic water baths also exist, for example shaking water baths, which are used to mix substances together and have additional controls allowing users to control the speed and frequency of movements. Laboratory water baths do not have to contain water and can use alternate fluids such as oil depending on the required temperature and viscosity.
Use of Water Bath in Laboratory
Laboratory water baths are used in industrial clinical laboratories, academic facilities, government research laboratories environmental applications as well as food technology and wastewater plants.
Thermostatic water baths are most widely used for many bacteriological applications that require incubation, as well as general tests and procedures. This is done through the warming of reagents, melting of substrates or incubation of cell cultures. Furthermore, Serology water baths can be used to enable certain chemical reactions to occur at high temperatures.
Serological water bath uses include tissue culture applications, enzyme reaction studies, growth observation studies, coliform determinations and fermentation analysis. Water baths are the preferred heat sources for the heating of flammable chemicals, because they do not have an open flame which prevents ignition.
Serology Water Baths role in the Covid-19 Testing Process
Serology refers to the scientific study of serum and other body fluids. In practice, the term usually refers to the diagnostic identification of antibodies in the serum which are typically formed in response to an infection, against other foreign proteins, or to one’s own proteins. Serologic tests measure the antibody response in an individual.
COVID-19 serology tests, also known as antibody tests, are currently receiving heightened attention and scrutiny because they can confirm previous SARS-CoV2 infection and may indicate that a patient has built immunity to the virus. Antibodies to Covid-19 are produced over days to weeks after initial infection with the virus, and the presence of antibodies therefore indicates that a person has been infected with the virus at some point.
The surveillance of antibody seropositivity is used in epidemiology and public health research, particularly relating to Covid-19, because it allows scientists to understand the following:
- The occurrence of infection among different populations
- How many people have mild or asymptomatic infection
- The proportion of fatal infections among those infected
- The proportion of the population who may be protected against infection in the future
Laboratory Water Bath Considerations
There are many things to consider when choosing the right serology water bath for your laboratory.
The first consideration is the type of interface, as digital systems provide greater temperature uniformity and control which is more suited to constant temperature requirements. Analogue systems however offer easy-to-use control and are best suited to fixed set-point applications.
The next factor is the temperature requirement, as most laboratory water baths provide temperatures between + 5°C to 99.9°C, with temperature uniformity of ± 0.2°C at 37°C. They may also offer temperature pre-set functions, allowing the quick selection of frequently used set temperature points.
Capacity of the thermostatic water bath is also important, as choosing the right size for your Water Bath depends on the volume and size of samples you are working with. Serological water baths typically range from 1.5 to 43 litres, and it is best to compare internal tank dimensions when deciding.
Further considerations relate to potential concern regarding contaminants, which may require a water bath cover that can eliminate problems with condensation and main temperature if the lab is operating the water bath above 60°C. In addition, safety features may be necessary such as an alarm indicators or secondary thermostat that automatically disconnects the power if the temperature gets too high or the liquid level drops too low.
Serology Water Bath from Froilabo
At Froilabo, we produce a laboratory water bath that has been specifically designed for serology. Ideal for modern laboratories, our serological bath is available in 2 volumes; 3 and 6 litres, and consists of a transparent plexiglass and a control interface via a button. This makes it very easy to use and set the ambient temperature between + 7°C to + 60°C, with it pre-set in the factory at 37°C and 56°C.
Further features of our thermostatic water bath include a rack for up to 60 test tubes measuring 14mm in diameter, a roof-top cover, a bent thermometer, and a security feature protecting the environment if there is not enough water.
Get in Touch
If you would like to find out more about Froilabo’s Laboratory Water Bath, including our Thermostatic Water Bath Price, please make sure to contact a member of our team today. We look forward to being of assistance.
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