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Class II Biosafety Cabinets: Uses and Functionalities

These devices can help lab workers contain samples in a sterile environment and protect themselves from dangerous components of biological materials. In the 1940s, scientists Hubert Kaempf Jr. and Arnold G. Wedum, who worked at US ABW Laboratories, designed a protected environment that could isolate operators from exposure to infectious agents.

Biological Safety Cabinets have evolved over the years to meet different needs and standards. If you are looking for a BSC, you should consider some of the following characteristics:

  • This determines the level of protection of lab workers.
  • This affects the working space, ergonomics, and maintenance.
  • Performance characteristics. This ensures the safety and reliability of the device. You should look for a cabinet that meets international certifications.

In this article, we have briefly introduced the history and characteristics of these devices. In the next section, we will review some of the types of BSCs in greater detail. Read on to discover the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of biological safety cabinets.

Exploring the Different Types of Biosafety Cabinets: A Comprehensive Guide

Biological Safety Cabinets Class II

This type, compared to other safety hoods, has a HEPA-filtered inflow and downflow and an exhaust system that can be either recirculated or vented to the outside. Class II is the most widely used type of BSC in the world, accounting for more than 90% of the global market share. Keep in mind that you are not limited to a single use case after buying one. Class II BSCs have multiple applications in industries such as:

  • Toxicology.
  • Healthcare.
  • Biotechnology.
  • Education.

Of the five subtypes of this biosafety cabinet, C1 is the newest and most versatile, and it was introduced in 2015. It can operate in either Type A or Type B mode, depending on the application and the exhaust configuration. It also has a unique dual-DC ECM blower system that allows for the independent control of inflow and downflow velocities.

Biological Safety Cabinets Class II Type B2

The most notable feature of this type of biosafety cabinet is the ability to contain volatile chemicals, radionuclides, and biological agents. This is made possible by the strong exhaust system. All the contaminated air from the chamber gets exhausted through the duct system to the outside. The three main fields of protection offered by BCSs are:

  • Personal. The air from the inner chamber will not get mixed with the air in the lab. Therefore, lab workers are safe from any harm that may be caused by the samples.
  • Product. Due to the special airflow pattern inside, this biosafety cabinet can protect samples from cross-contamination.
  • Environmental. The exhaust system has a couple of special HEPA filters that prevent any contaminated particles from escaping the lab facility.

A dedicated exhaust system and blower are also required for each of these devices in a lab.

Biological Safety Cabinets Class III

Inside this, there is a negative pressure relative to the ambient environment, which prevents any leakage of contaminated air from the cabinet. Healthcare, biotechnology, and education are the main fields that use these hoods.

  • Healthcare. The goal of the healthcare industry is to provide medical services and products. The materials include drugs and vaccines.
  • Biotechnology. The goal of the biotechnology industry is to create solutions for various sectors, such as agriculture and environmental protection. The materials include cells and microorganisms.
  • Education. The goal of the education industry is to facilitate learning and development for individuals and groups, both formally and informally.

In addition, exhaust air can be incinerated before being released to the outside. Multiple biosafety cabinets of this type may be put together in a line to provide a larger work area. They can also accommodate various types of equipment and accessories internally.