If you’re currently preparing for your biology exams and you are considering a career in biomedicine, you might be keen on working in a laboratory when you qualify. Whether you choose to work in a medical lab or a research lab, you will need to work with a range of equipment to prepare, process, and analyze biological samples.
The world of biology is forever changing and you will be introduced to lots of brand-new technology and equipment throughout your career. You will need to be adaptable and willing to learn how to properly use this new equipment if you want to be a successful biomedical scientist.
Despite the ever-advancing technology being introduced to the field of biology, there are a few staple pieces of equipment that are here to stay. These are the staple items that are central to the preparation and analysis of cell and tissue samples.
Let’s take a look at some of the staple equipment that you will find in every biomedical lab.
1. Cryogenic Freezers
When storing samples at very low temperatures, there’s a risk of damaging the cells and tissues. Freezing biological matter can cause the formation of ice crystals inside the sample, which can damage the structures and compromise the integrity of the sample.
Cryogenic freezers can either use liquid nitrogen or carbon dioxide to achieve very low temperatures. Liquid nitrogen freezers are used to store samples at temperatures of -150 degrees Celsius or below.
The magic of cryogenic freezers is that they can freeze samples at very low temperatures without causing structural damage to the cells and tissues. There is very little risk of ice crystal formation or osmotic shock, so samples can be preserved safely and easily.
As a biomedical scientist, you may need to look at a sample of blood or a tissue biopsy to identify abnormalities, and to do so, you will need the help of a powerful microscope. Analyzing various cells, tissues, and microorganisms properly involves finding the right type of microscope and using the correct settings.
Most microscopes use a bright light to illuminate the sample and have a range of magnifications, some of which are stronger than others. Using a higher magnification enables you to view microscopic samples in a lot of detail.
To view samples and specimens through a microscope, you will first need to thinly slice the sample and spread it onto a slide. You can then insert the slide onto the plate of the microscope and choose your settings. In some cases, you will need to use dyes to make certain sample components stand out more than others.
3. Weighing Scales
Every biomedical lab will have several scales that have a high accuracy (usually to at least two decimal points).
Whether you’re creating samples or mixing precise amounts of chemical solutions, you will need to measure your substances precisely. You can also use weighing scales to measure sample growth rates during your research.
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