101 Basics of a Laminar Flow

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A Laminar flow hood or cabinet is an enclosed workstation that uses filters to capture all particles entering the cabinet to create a contamination-free working environment. These cabinets are intended to protect the work from the elements and are most useful for aseptic media distribution and plate pouring. The only difference between laminar flow cabinets and biosafety cabinets is that the effluent air is drawn into the user’s face in laminar flow cabinets. A biosafety cabinet protects both the sample and the user, whereas a laminar flow cabinet protects only the sample and not the user. You can also check out more on laminar flow Malaysia here.

Components of a Laminar Flow

  1. Cabinet
  • The cabinet is made of stainless steel with few or no gaps or joints to prevent spore accumulation.
  • The cabinet insulates and protects the inner environment created by the laminar flow from the outside environment.
  • The front of the cabinet has a glass shield that opens completely or has two openings for the user’s hands to enter the cabinet in some laminar cabinets.
  1. Working station
  • Inside the cabinet, a flat working station is present for all processes to take place.
  • Culture plates, burners, and loops are all installed on the workstation where the operation is performed.
  • To prevent rusting, the worktop is also made of stainless steel.
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  1. Filter pad
  • The air enters the cabinet through a filter pad located on the top of the cabinet.
  • The filter pad prevents dust particles and some microbes from entering the cabinet’s working environment.
  1. Fan
  • A fan is located beneath the filter pad, sucking in air and moving it around the cabinet.
  • The fan also directs air towards the HEPA filter, allowing any remaining microbes to be trapped as they pass through the filter.
  1. UV Lamp
  1. Fluorescent lamp
  • A fluorescent light is installed inside the cabinet to provide adequate lighting during operation.
  1. HEPA filter
  • The presence of a high-efficiency particulate air filter within the cabinet makes the environment more sterile for the operation.
  • The filter traps fungi, bacteria, and other dust particles as the pre-filtered air passes through it.
  • The filter maintains a sterile environment inside the cabinet, reducing the possibility of contamination.

Principles of a Laminar Flow Hood

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  • The laminar flow cabinet principle is based on the laminar flow of air through the cabinet.
  • To create a particulate-free environment, the device uses an inward flow of air through one or more HEPA filters.
  • The air is filtered before being exhausted across the work surface as part of the laminar flow of the air.
  • The air first passes through a filter pad or pre-filter, allowing for a more efficient flow of air into the cabinet.
  • The air is then directed towards the HEPA filters by the blower or fan.
  • The bacteria, fungi, and other particulate materials are then trapped by the HEPA filters, resulting in particulate-free air.
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