Archives for June 2011

Simplifying How To Decide Which Microscope Is Right For You

It goes without saying that microscopes are relied on and used on a regular basis by laboratories, medical facilities and schools. Although microscopes are used routinely by many different types of individuals, the process of selecting a microscope can be confusing. We have dedicated this post to explaining the different types of microscopes as well as their uses.

Stereo Microscopes vs. Compound Microscopes

Compound microscopes are perfect for viewing small specimens because of the high powers of magnification they offer. Some of these specimens include blood samples, bacteria and water organisms. Compound microscopes are capable of magnifying specimens up to 1,000 times. They usually come with three to five lenses of varying powers of magnification. The range of powers of magnification are usually from 4x to 100x. The eyepiece of the compound microscope also adds an additional magnification of 10x.

On the other hand, stereo microscopes are often used for observing specimens that require lower powers of magnification. The types of samples observed with a stereo microscope include insects, rocks and leaves. This type of microscope has a magnification range of 6.5x to 45x, which is much lower than the compound microscope. Most stereo microscopes can also be considered binocular microscopes because they often come equipped with two eye pieces.

Monocular, Binocular or Trinocular?

It is also important to think about if you need a microscope with one, two or three eye pieces. Monocular microscopes, microscopes that are equipped with one eye piece, can magnify samples up to 1,000 times. If you need a microscope that magnifies at higher levels, a binocular microscope is right for you. Monocular microscopes are often used in classrooms and laboratories for observing slide samples. Stereo microscopes are available as monocular microscopes, but compound microscopes are only available in binocular and trinocular models.

Binocular microscopes have two eye pieces, which can make it easier for the viewer to observe slide samples. Many users also find binocular microscopes to be more comfortable to use instead of the monocular microscopes. With the higher magnification range and the mechanical stage, binocular microscopes can be used for a variety of applications.

Trinocular microscopes come with a third eye piece. The third eye piece of this type of microscope allows you to mount a camera onto the eye piece. Cameras can be mounted onto binocular microscopes, but it disrupts the operation of the microscope. Mounting a camera to the trinocular microscope can allow the views of the specimen can be presented or shared with others.

We hope this post helps clear up some of the confusions with selecting the right microscope. Let us know what you think!

Everything You Wanted To Know About Pipette Tips And More!

It is hard to believe that simple, plastic molded disposable tips are the bread and butter of molecular biology, chemistry and the world of medicine. That’s right, we are talking about pipette tips. These tips create a dependable and accurate pipetting system. Pipette tips come in three different types including non-sterile, pre-sterilized and filtered tips.

The most commonly used type of pipette tip is non-sterile tips. They are often used in laboratory applications where sterility is not important to the experiment or test being performed. On the other hand, pre-sterilized pipette tips are designed to prevent contamination. They are certified free of DNA, RNase, ATP and pyrogens. Because these pipette tips are certified free of DNA, RNase, ATP and pyrogens, they are ideal for applications that require sterility such as cell cultures.

Filtered pipette tips are designed to prevent aerosols from forming. Aerosols are small liquid or solid particles that are airborne. These particles can actually remain airborne for long periods of time and can be inhaled. Even worse, 65% of all laboratory infections are caused by aerosols, usually by inhaling them. Filtered pipette tips help to reduce the risk of aerosols forming in the laboratory. They also protect the pipette shafts from contamination and reduce the risk of cross contamination. These pipette tips are often used in contamination sensitive applications such as forensics and clinical diagnostics.

With the possibility of infection from aerosols, we can’t emphasize enough how important it is to enforce safe work practices in the laboratory. This includes properly disinfecting pipettes after use and disposing of pipette tips.


How To Properly Select A Pair Of Lead Glasses

Even the smallest exposure to x-ray radiation to the eye can cause radiation poisoning. The symptoms of radiation poisoning include weakness, nausea and hair loss. This is why lead glasses should be worn at all times when working around radiation. These glasses are able to block a significant amount of radiation that comes from diagnostic imaging machines.

Lead glasses are used in radiology labs, hospitals and dentist offices. They are often worn by the patient who is receiving the treatment and the healthcare staff. How do radiation glasses protect the eyes from radiation? These glasses are able to absorb the radioactive particles and scatter the particles away from the eye. They are able to reduce the amount of radiation the eyes are exposed to by about 98%.

There are several factors you should consider when selecting the right pair of lead glasses. First of all, you should look at the lead equivalency of the radiation glasses’ lens . The medical industry standards for lead equivalency of lead glasses are .75 mm. You should make sure that the radiation glasses meet the industry standards or exceed them to insure adequate protection from radiation exposure. If you are looking for glasses that offer the maximum protection, there are models available with side shields to provide additional wrap around protection.

Next, you should look at the amount of visibility of the lead glasses. The lens should offer clear visibility during medical procedures. Many radiation glasses can come with a prescription or bifocal lens. It is also possible to purchase radiation goggles, which can fit over a pair of prescription glasses.

In terms of fit, you should make sure the nose piece of the lead glasses fits comfortably and securely on the nose. The ear piece of the glasses should either wrap around or rest on the ear. To offer the maximum amount of protection from radiation, the frame of the lead glasses should fit closely to the side of your head. This close fit will allow the glasses to stay on during medical procedures.

And remember, it is better to be safe than sorry. Always wear your lead glasses when working around radiation.



Why Proper Storage Of Your Lead Aprons Is So Important

Improper storage of lead aprons can not only damage the lead apron, but it can also put you at risk for exposure to radiation. It is important to note that lead aprons should not be folded when they are put away. Folding a lead apron can result in the lead inside the apron cracking. The cracks and holes in the lead allow radiation to pass through the apron. This leaves you with a damaged lead apron and an increased risk of being exposed to radiation. 

The best and safest solution to storing lead aprons is to use a lead apron rack. These racks come in a variety of different styles including door mounted racks as well as standing apron racks. The lead aprons are easily hung on this storage device, leaving a well organized and clutter free room. Lead apron racks are also very durable and can withstand the weight of hanging multiple lead aprons. There are several lead apron racks that have the capacity to hold up to 300 lbs. Some of them are also mobile, which makes them easy to move around a medical facility.

Using lead apron racks not only prevents lead aprons from being damaged, but it can help you organize and keep track of all of your aprons. There are also models available that provide an organization system for your lead gloves as well as lead aprons. Organizing all of your radiation protection products is critical to promoting a safe environment and improving efficiency in the workplace.

When And Why You Should Use Lead Shields

The effects of radiation exposure from x-rays can be detrimental to your health. We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to protect yourself during every procedure that involves possible exposure to radiation. Lead shields provide an additional layer of protection from x-ray radiation exposure. This radiation protection equipment allows nurses, doctors and technicians to stand behind a barrier during procedures. These lead barriers are often used in medical and dental applications where the healthcare professional needs to stand next to or near the patient during the procedure.

Lead shields come in a variety of styles and sizes. One of the important features of almost all radiation protective lead barriers is that they are mobile and can be easily readjusted around the exam room. The standard lead shields are a large framed barrier with a half or full window that allows the doctor, nurse or technician to be able to easily see their patient. They also can be wide enough to accommodate two healthcare professionals standing behind the barrier.

Some models of x-ray lead shields are also available in a durable nylon material which allows for mobility and flexibility. These lead shields are also ideal for diagnostic procedures because of their ability to adjust the height of the shield and they can easily rotate. For procedures involving a C-arm, there are lead shields available that are designed with pleats, which allow the C-arm to pass through the panels of the shield without affecting the procedure.

Mobile lead sheets with panels are also available. They are attached to the arm of a hospital bed, blocking radiation that can come from the space in between the table and the floor. If a medical table is being used during the procedure, there are lead table shields that can be draped over the medical table to block the radiation.

It is important to have lead barriers on hand or easy accessible at all times in a medical or dentist exam room. Ensuring that nurses, doctors and technicians are protected from x-ray radiation exposure during a procedure is absolutely critical to their well being.

The Top 3 Factors To Consider When Selecting Laser Safety Glasses

With the significant damage lasers can cause to the eye, making sure you are wearing the proper laser safety glasses is critical. We have outlined three important factors that will help you determine which pair of laser safety glasses is ideal for you.

Frequency of the Laser

The first and most important consideration you need to make is finding out the frequency of the laser you are using. You can find this information in the laser’s instruction manual or on the serial plate of the laser. If the frequency of the laser can’t be found in either of these locations, you can always ask your laser safety officer. The frequency of the laser, also known as the wavelength of the laser, should be listed in nanometers. This information will help you to select the correct lens that will protect your eyes from the wavelength of your laser.

Optical Density

After determining the frequency of the laser, you should also find the recommended optical density of the laser. This information should be listed in the owner’s manual or technical instructions. Optical density measures how much the lens of the laser safety glasses blocks the light that is transmitted from a particular wavelength.

The higher the optical density, the more light from the wavelength is blocked. For example, laser safety glasses with an optical density of 7 will block all but .00001% of the laser frequency. When working with medical devices, most medical facilities recommend laser safety glasses with an optical density of 5 or more. It is perfectly acceptable to select laser safety glasses with a higher optical density than the owner’s manual of the laser requires. This will provide you with a greater level of protection.

Visible Light Transmission

One of the drawbacks of a high optical density lens is the decrease in visibility. Laser safety glasses with high optical densities tend to have darker lenses which can make it difficult to see in the laboratory. In order to avoid compromising a high optical density with decreased visibility, several companies have developed a lens that is clear, but still provides a high optical density.

We help to simplify the process of selecting a pair of laser safety glasses by listing the wavelength of the laser safety glasses cover, the optical density and the visible light transmission of each of the laser safety glasses.

Remember, if you have any doubt about which laser safety glasses you should use, you should ask your laser safety officer.


Check Out BrandTech’s Products On Our Website

Good news! We have been busy at work continuing to expand the product lines we offer on our website. We are happy to announce that we are now a distributor of BrandTech’s products!

BrandTech is a manufacturer of liquid handling products and life science plastics. Some of the products BrandTech manufactures include pipettes, pipette tips and plastic labware. They are also dedicated to providing their customers with high quality products with excellent value. The large number of products BrandTech offers will allow us to add more selection in some of our product categories, especially in pipette tips and pipettes. We will also be adding new product categories to our site as well.

We are currently in the process of adding BrandTech’s extensive product lines to our website. We plan to have all of the product lines on the website as soon as possible. Make sure to keep checking our website for BrandTech product updates!

What You Didn’t Know About Dry Baths

How much do you know about the recent changes that have been made to dry baths? There have actually been some major changes over the past few years. The biggest transition in the dry bath market is the move from analog dry baths to digital dry baths.

Before the introduction of digital dry baths, laboratories relied on analog dry baths, also known as incubators or block heaters. These machines allowed users to heat their samples, but it was difficult to control the temperature of their samples. The temperature of the incubators was controlled by incremental knobs that the user could turn to change the temperature. This system made it very difficult to determine the actual temperature of the sample. It was necessary to use a thermometer in order to get an accurate temperature reading.

Luckily, the introduction of digital dry baths has removed the headache many users experienced with analog dry baths. Digital dry baths incorporate a microchip that provides the user with the ability to accurately control the temperature of the bath. These baths also have a digital screen that displays the temperature. The temperature can be adjusted by pressing the up and down buttons. Some of the baths use a knob to adjust the temperature.

But wait, there is more! In addition to transitioning to digital dry baths, there has been an increase in demand for smaller, lighter and more compact baths. This has resulted in a big shift towards manufacturers creating smaller and smaller laboratory equipment. Did you know that the tiniest digital dry bath weighs 3 lbs and can fit into the palm of your hand? The MyBlock Mini, manufactured by Benchmark Scientific is actually the smallest block dry bath in the world.

Another exciting development in the laboratory bath market is the introduction of baths that are able to cool and heat samples. These baths have a cooling capacity of about -20 degrees Celsius. This type of bath is often used in microbiology applications where it is important to keep the molecular structures of the samples the same.

In molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics and cell biology, many researchers encounter the issue of needing to agitate samples while they are being heated. In the past, many researchers had to remove a sample from the dry bath, agitate it, and place it back in the bath. This unexpected change in temperature can damage the sample. In order to prevent damaging the sample, many companies have begun to manufacture lab baths that can heat and agitate at the same time. Some of these baths also have the ability to cool samples in addition to heating and agitating them.

What do you think of our post on dry baths?