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Laminar flow hood is a laboratory equipment containing a bench that provides an aseptic environment for scientist (biologist) to work with their samples. The use of laminar flow has been adopted in the microbiology laboratory, botany, chemistry, virology and pharmaceutical laboratory. The primary reason for using laminar flow hood is to avoid the contamination of samples with dust and microbial contaminants

  • HISTORY

A problem of contamination of specimen for biological laboratory research as long been in existence, to combat this major setback, a group of scientists in 2000s came together to invent Laminar flow hood in order to make working under sterile condition much easier. Because, of its efficiency in providing about 99 % sterile condition for experiment. Its widely used today in microbiological and pharmaceutical laboratories all over the world.

  • How Laminar flow hood works

Microorganisms are ubiquitous, they lives in both the air. The laminar flow works by allowing a sterile airflow into where an entire the work bench area, where the scientists carry out their experiment, observation and research.

  • Components of laminar flow hood

The laminar flow cabinet is comprised of eight major components which include:

  1. Pre-filter
  2. Blower
  3. HEPA Filter
  4. Acrylic Hood
  5. Work Bench
  6. UV Light
  7. Lamp
  8. Lid
  • Pre-filter: provides efficiency of 40% by barrier against atmospheric dust
  • Blower: provide air inside the laminar flow chamber.
  • HEPA Filter: HEPA is the acronym for “High Efficiency Particulate Air”. This can be removed at least 99.97% dusts, pollens, molds, bacteria and any airborne particle bigger than 0.3ʮm in size.
  • Acrylic Hood: This covers the side of the laminar flow chamber and should be always be cleaned to avoid contaminations.
  • Work Bench: This is made of stainless steel and this is where the work is done. Biological samples are kept on it and where usually a burner is placed on it and should always be cleaned with 70% ethanol before use.
  • UV Light: There is a switch for UV light on the top right of the laminar air flow hood which switches UV light the chamber to kill any microbes which might have entered when the lid is opened.
  • Lamp: This is a source which provides electricity light to the bench during work.
  • Lid: This is often made of glass, it covers the bench
  • Types of laminar flow cabinet

Horizontal laminar flow hoods are named in relation to the way in which air flows through them. Laminar flow cabinet are of two (2) types based on the direction of airflow into the work bench:

  1. Horizontal laminar flow cabinet
  2. Vertical laminar flow cabinet

Horizontal Laminar flow cabinet receives air flow into the work bench from a horizontal direction. While vertical laminar flow work bench receives air from the bottom of the work bench.

Horizontal Laminar Flow Hoods

Air comes down from the top, but then turns and runs onto the sterile area in a horizontal direction. A large filter covers the wall facing the person working at the bench. They are intended to provide a sterile, particle-free work area. This type of hood floods the work area with a constant stream of positive pressure. Horizontal flow hoods primarily protect the substances being worked with, and not so much the lab worker

Vertical Laminar Flow Hoods

Vertical laminar flow hoods keep the work area just as clean as horizontal laminar flow hoods but deliver the air in a different way. With vertical hoods, the air flows straight down onto the work area. The air filter with these flow hoods is therefore mounted directly above the work area. The air leaves the work area through holes in the base. Vertical flow hoods provide protection to both the substance being worked with and the person working

Vertical laminar flow hoods

Vertical laminar flow hoods keep the work area just as clean as horizontal laminar flow hoods but deliver the air in a different way. With vertical hoods, the air flows straight down onto the work area. The air filter with these flow hoods is therefore mounted directly above the work area. The air leaves the work area through holes in the base. Vertical flow hoods provide protection to both the substance being worked with and the person working.

 

There are three classes of laminar flow hoods, they include:

Class I laminar flow hoods

Class I laminar flow hoods are very simple laminar flow-hood styles. They provide adequate protection to both the user and the materials being worked with, but they do not protect the work substance from contamination. They are similar to chemical fume hoods, which contain hazardous fumes but do not disinfect

Class II laminar flow hoods

Class II laminar flow hoods provide an aseptic environment in addition to protection from fumes and gases. They protect competently from the dangers of hazardous materials, and are therefore ideal for that application

Class III laminar flow hoods

cabinets provide the ultimate level of possible protection. They are gas-tight and so protect the worker from the danger of exposure to human pathogens. Therefore, any applications involving potentially infectious substances should use a class III hood

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