So, Why Did We Build Our Incubators to Work in Space?
Over the past months, we've had a lot of inquiries about WHY we overbuilt certain aspects of the T3-i7 Laboratory Incubator. Particularly why we chose a modular design, features for serviceability, and a proprietary energy-efficient ceramic gel-jacket insulation. Obviously, our extra features sound great, but why are they important in the first place? Why is it justifiable to use such advanced materials in a laboratory incubator?
Small Changes Make Huge Differences
In the protein labs, our customers are discovering that minor fluctuations in temperature, 0.2 degrees centigrade in some instances, have advanced implications in the expression of various proteins. It makes sense; humans start to feel unwell at 99 degrees Fahrenheit, only 0.4 degrees increase, but does this justify the use of high precision temperature monitoring and mapping of the incubation chamber?
Considering 90%-98% of a sample's life is spent inside an incubation chamber, the consensus is, Yes! Without a doubt!
In addition to this, we discovered an emerging market of laboratories performing experiments in the upper atmosphere. These features become increasingly important, as, in space, you only have what you take with you, and you can't just plug something in and hope that it works efficiently. The T3-i7 is strategically overbuilt to perform routine laboratory work in space and required a new perspective of the stagnant industry. The room for error is remarkably slim when it comes to anything in the void of space. Astronauts need to make repairs within seconds, the device can only use 40% electrical consumption required of conventional equipment, and standard insulation material would not suffice.
Preparing for 21st Century Labs
As we developed the 21st-century solution, we discovered these upgrades as a whole, significantly reduced laboratory expenses, and allowed them to adapt their equipment to the ever-changing needs of their experiments, and comfortably function with minimal interventions. The SAME things that made the T3-i7 an adaptable space incubator made the incubator small molecule labs needed for their increasingly complex precision requirements.
As we speak to more laboratory managers and principal investigators, It becomes apparent our laboratory equipment is far more advanced than most laboratories need. Still, if we could reduce the price, it became an easy decision. The concept of modularity only works if the product is efficiently adaptable to any circumstances. So unlike other solutions, if we underbuild a feature, we limit our modularity and exclude a potential market. So the primary challenge was to reduce the cost without compromising the quality and integrity that made it a 21st-century space incubator.
The majority of our time was creating local partnerships with businesses and governments so we could manufacture in the US. Manufacturing in the US was an absolute for us to ensure the quality and precision, our sole purpose for creating the device. Driving down the price was a close second and required complex negotiations on the state level. The results, our state-of-the-art facility in Greensburg, Kentucky, 40,000 square feet packed with some of the most advanced manufacturing, assembly, and design equipment our country has to offer. To top it all off, we not only brought our price down, but we are also competitive with vastly inferior equipment offerings
The Best of Both Worlds
Because the ultimate design has to perform in the most demanding environments, even the smallest unit is superior to the requirements of the average laboratory. Our hope is the increased precision, at a comfortable price, will raise the standard for laboratory equipment, and the quality of the science performed with it.
Technology changes so rapidly, and it is now possible to place tools fit for space, in the average laboratory. The scientists in small-molecule laboratories and precision biotechnology laboratories around the world are responsible for creating treatments that treat and cure chronic disease. Let's celebrate them and all the fantastic things they do for us.
Scientists, like our police and firefighters, save lives, and deserve our appreciation. Please take a moment to pass this along to someone you know in the laboratory and tell them how much you appreciate what they do.