SCILA CO2 4-Position cell incubator

Maximum variability of cell incubation parameters in minimal space on your deck

Run your experiments and cellular assays with fewer errors and greater accuracy, in a 24/7 controlled environment. The Inheco SCILA cell incubator gives you maximum precision, superior protection and great flexibility while taking up minimal space in your automated deck.
Cell incubators are used by cell biologists, microbiologists and molecular biologists and their medical technical assistants for automated cell culture and cell-based assays for adherent cell cultures in the cell culture laboratory. They allow labs to create and maintain the ideal physiological conditions for cell growth, by controlling gas atmosphere, humidity and temperature. They very best offer precise control of every part of the environment while protecting precious samples.

The Inheco SCILA is the most powerful incubator in its class. The SCILA 4-position incubator is purpose-built for automated cell culture applications in liquid handling systems. So, it’s ideal for medium and low throughput cell processing in a controlled environment. And by stacking SCILA incubators in towers, you can process more samples using variable parameters, without crowding your deck.

With the SCILA your lab can process every sample without fear of contamination, in exactly the conditions required. That’s thanks to its copper chamber and water tubing, sterile water systems and easy-to-clean design. Temperature, humidity and gas atmosphere can all be regulated, and the SCILA offers excellent atmosphere and temperature accuracy and temperature uniformity. Choose to buy the optional SCILA MIX gas mixer to control the gas in your incubation or add your own gas mixing system that can supply mixed gas. Using two or three gas mixers together enables the reproduction of hypoxic conditions to mimic the conditions in the human body.

The SCILA has a footprint of just 291 mm H x 250 mm W x 410 mm L and comes in a choice of 4 microplate (for 96 well plates less than 20 mm in height) or 2 deep well options (up to 23 mm in height) allowing you to use microtiters or vials. Or stack both, to offer maximum flexibility in your lab.

The SCILA is quick to connect and commission with SiLA-compliant software, and an API available. It’s also IoT-ready. It integrates seamlessly with most makes of liquid handling stations in combination with a reader and robotic arm.

Every Inheco device is designed, engineered and made in Germany and undergoes rigorous quality control before delivery. It comes with a global two-year warranty and full customer service including remote support, diagnostic and servicing options that focusses on minimizing operational downtime.

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Technical Specifications SCILA

General specifications - SCILA CO2 MP-4
Dimensions (H x W x L) 287 mm x 410 mm x 250 mm
Dimensions (H x W x L) with opened drawer 287 mm x 644 mm x 250 mm
Volume of process chamber 4.6 l
Weight Approx. 16.3 kg
Interface SiLA, Ethernet (RJ45 connector)
IP protection class IP 21 according to IEC60529-1
EMV device class Group 1 / class A (industrial requirements)
SCILA device DC Input *1) 24 Vdc
Noise while drawer opens 65 dB(A)
Noise closed (only in heating mode) 45 dB(A)
Horizontal precision of the labware in x and y direction (end position per opened drawer) ± 0.3 mm
Vertical precision of labware in z direction (end position per opened drawer) 1.5 mm
Cell culture plates 6-96 wells Suitable for all kind of robot grippable plates (according to SLAS)
Maximum load on drawer 200 g
Height of plate incl. lid Up to 20 mm with standard labware carrier → chapter 8.5.2
Up to 23 mm with additional labware carrier → chapter 8.5.2

1) SCILA device shall only be powered by the included power supply
Environmental conditions - SCILA CO2 MP-4
Tolerable relative humidity:
Operation 30-60% *2)
Transportation and storage Transportation and storage 10-80% *2)
Operation (at altitude 0 - 2500 m) +15 °C to +32 °C [+59 °F to +90 °F]
Transportation and storage (water needs to be removed before shipment) --20 °C to +60 °C [-4 °F to +140 °F], non condensing *2)

2) Condensate can prevent the SCILA from operating properly and can damage the SCILA.
Thermal specifications - SCILA CO2 MP-4
Temperature range 5 K above ambient to +45 °C
Temperature accuracy in steady state at +37 °C) ±1.0 K
Temperature uniformity in steady state at +37 °C Max temperature difference between plates: 1.0 K within one plate: 0.3 K
Temperature recovery at +37 °C (conditions see table below *3)) 3 minutes (air temperature)
Max. heat up time from +22 °C ambient to +37 °C *4) ~ 19 minutes (air temperature)
CO2 specifications - Gas inlet SCILA CO2 MP-4
Pressure range for SCILA Inlet 0.9 - 1 bar (gas pressure reduction valve necessary if inlet pressure is higher than 1 bar)
Flow rate range for SCILA Inlet 0 - 4.5 ln/min
Gas flow - normal 0.2 l/min
Gas flow - boost 4 l/min
CO2 specifications - incubation chamber SCILA CO2 MP-4
CO2 gas concentration ≤ 10%
CO2 recovery time at 5% (conditions see table below *3)) ≤ 5 minutes
Humidity specifications - SCILA CO2 MP-4
Max. water filling volume in incubation chamber 175 ml
Max. operation time at +37 °C, without opening any drawer and without refill ~ 140 hours
Evaporation of sample rH > 85% at +37 °C *5) Typically < 0.04% per hour
Evaporation of sample without humidification at +37 °C *5) < 4% per hour
Humidity recovery time (conditions see table below *3)) 25 minutes
Relative humidity over complete temperature range 95% +5%/-10% (not actively controlled)

3) table showing the standard drawer opening and closure cycle (basis for recovery time tests):
Standard drawer opening and closure cycle
1 SCILA in steady state (2 h after turning on)
2 Drawer 4 (top drawer): open; hold for 10 s; close
3 10 s dead time
4 Drawer 3: open; hold for 10 s; close
5 10 s dead time
6 Drawer 2: open; hold for 10 s; close
7 10 s dead time
8 Drawer 1: open; hold for 10 s; close
9 start measuring recovery time

4) Start temperature +22 °C, with water prefilled (22 °C), with CO2, measured in air with 2 temperature sensors in drawer 2
5) Incubation device loaded with 4* NUNC 167008 96 well plates x 250 μl liquid with lid, closed drawers

SCILA Accessories

Inheco IMP Measurement plate

Read more
Inheco SCILA MIX - Gas Mixer
Control gas concentration in your incubation.

Read more

Why use an automated cell incubator

Cell biologists use cell incubators to incubate several different cell types, including adherent cells, and cell lines and tissue that need to be kept under CO2 and saturated humidity, or hypoxic conditions. The cells are used in toxicity studies, monoclonal antibody production, human viral vaccine production, artificial tissue engineering, and cell and gene therapy. Automation helps increase throughput, reduce costs and ensure the environment is precisely controlled, without the risk of contamination.

What to look for in an automated cell incubator
An automated cell incubator must provide a stable temperature, sterility, homogeneity and stable pH value (using CO2 gas) across the cell culture medium, and fit into your workflow or liquid handling station.
  • Gas atmosphere control – with the option of mixing CO2, oxygen, nitrogen to create and maintain the appropriate atmosphere and pH levels. Do you need to quickly restore the atmosphere after opening the door? Look for gas boost as an option.
  • Precise temperature control – choose between direct heat for speed of heating and the option to sterilize the unit and water jacket heating for temperature uniformity, and additional measure to keep water sterile.
  • Humidity control – do you control it by minimizing airflow or through local atmosphere?
  • Protection from contamination – samples need protection when the door is open and from the water in the heating jacket.
  • Throughput that matches your needs – your lab may need an incubator that’s small and flexible or one that’s larger and faster, but less versatile.
  • Fits your automated deck and with your workflows – for most labs that means being small, easy to clean and low maintenance, with automation options including automatic opening/closing and working to a communication standard.

Use of the Inheco SCILA CO2 4-Position cell incubator

The SCILA is independently validated by Fraunhofer IPA/nICLAS for use in automated cell culture and cellular assays in automated workflows.

Read the Fraunhofer IPA/nICLAS application note on the Inheco SCILA

The SCILA is helping infectious disease experts research malaria.

“The integration of the SCILA incubator in the Beckman's liquid handler is super elegant. SCILA is the smallest cell incubator and it's the world’s first automated solution used for blood cell cultivation in malaria research”

Watch Dr. Yifat Ofir Birin discuss the use of Inheco SCILA in malaria research

“SCILA is an extremely compact system which is pretty easy to integrate & well applicable for automated cell culture”

Precise, protected and easy to maintain

The SCILA isn’t just a powerful incubator. It’s also easy to use and maintain.

  • Speedy integration – small size to fit your deck plus SiLA-compliant software for quick connection.
  • Start-up time of just 19 minutes. Fast set up and commissioning.
In operation
  • Precise control of temperature, humidity and gas atmosphere
    Internal temperature uniformity @ 37 °C. Across all plates, temperature difference below 0.5 K, within a plate position 0.3 K. Saturated humidity with inbuilt security mechanism to control the water level.
  • Rapid gas concentration recovery after an open/close drawer cycle, due to gas boost functionality and fast (< 10 seconds) access.
  • Maximum contamination protection with a copper incubation chamber and copper water tubing in the humidification system.
  • Sterile water assured – the external supply mechanism for sterile water has an automated refill, with sterile filter connection from replaceable Luer-Lock on water tubing.
  • Easy cleaning. Our patented drawer design puts the complete drawer mechanics outside the incubation chamber, making the inner copper surface with rounded edges easy to clean. The front of the SCILA can be removed without tools for cleaning and maintenance.
  • SiLA-compliant, API available, IOT-ready. The SCILA is quick to connect, and ready for future developments in your lab.
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