There are a few essential elements of plant tissue culture, the most important one being that you maintain a contaminant-free environment within the lab. But before you even get to that stage, you're going to need to know what equipment you need. Well, if you are looking for all the essential pieces of equipment you'll need for starting up, you can check out this post where we covered the top 5 startup pieces. In this article, we'll be taking a broader view and going through all the equipment you may need, from the basics to a few other bits that aren't essential but could increase your chances of success.
Let's start at the beginning; what are the basic types of equipment you need in a tissue culture lab?
Basic Startup Equipment:
- A scale with two decimal places and measures in grams
- A pH meter
- Graduated cylinders
Glassware (beakers, flasks, test tubes, etc.) forms your tissue culture operation's backbone. Glassware will be used to store your cultures, and you will use various pieces throughout the experiments and processes. You probably already know that maintaining a sterile and contaminant free is imperative for a successful tissue culture process. So, you should always keep your glassware clean and organized.
One of the essential pieces of equipment for any lab is a heat resistant Erlenmeyer flask. These flasks will be used for preparing the tissue culture media. Other equipment pieces include a small capacity flask and a culture jar.
The above items will be on your list of essentials when you start up your tissue culture lab. And if you are working on a tight budget, then you will be just fine. But, if you have a little extra cash or save up over time, you could skyrocket your productivity and iron out your processes by including a few more items into your toolbox.
Take a look at the following equipment that is not considered essential (in the purest sense of the word), but are undoubtedly beneficial. But be warned, once you use some of the products, like PPM™, for the first time, then you won't want to go without it again.
Beneficial Equipment (but not essential)
Laminar hood flow: the laminar hood flow helps you to maintain an aseptic environment. The hood allows you to contain any accidental contaminating aerosols or splashes during biological procedures.There are three classes of laminar hood flows: Class I, class II and class III. They each serve a unique purpose, depending on the needs of your research or clinic.
Class I: This class of laminar flow hoods is designed to offer protection, for both the working environment and the lab personnel, against contamination. Naturally, any laminar hood would need to be coupled with the correct microbiological techniques, as well as the proper aseptic conditions. Class I hoods do not prevent contamination from occurring within the cultures.
Class II: This flow hood class is explicitly designed for the type of experiments involving BSL-1, 2, and 3 materials. The class II hoods are used for cell culture as they create and maintain an aseptic environment. If you do work with hazardous material, it would be beneficial to have a biosafety cabinet to handle hazardous materials correctly. These potentially dangerous materials include toxic or carcinogenic reactants, virally infected cultures, primate-derived cultures, and radioscopes.
Class III: The Class III are gas-tight and offer the most protection. These will be used in laboratories that use BSL-4 materials, including human pathogens.
Autoclave machine: An autoclave is a machine designed for strict sterilization. The device will produce pressurized steam to eradicate bacteria, fungi, and viruses.
Freezer to store samples: This is another great addition to your lab.
Other Equipment to Have in Your Arsenal
PPM™: PPM™ is plant preservative mixture. It is a liquid formulation that is one of those tools you can use to skyrocket your success chances. Because it is a broad-spectrum biocide, plants cannot genetically mutate against it in response and can eliminate and prevent both bacterial and fungal contaminations.
Gelling agent (gellan gum, agar): A gelling agent will be required as part of your essentials. Whether you choose to use gellan gum or agar, you can browse both of them here. Agar and Gellan gum are similar in many ways, but have a few key differences differ in a few. You can read about those differences in this post. One major difference is the transparency; gellan gum has more lucid clarity while agar is more opaque.
Which is your go-to product for your tissue culture experiments? If you haven't yet tried our PPM™ for your tissue cultures, check out how people are using PPM™ and you can see for yourself why it is the best investment you can make for your tissue culture operations.