New Mass Spectrometry Technique Connects UV Rays with Intelligence

As providers of the dedicated lab furniture that should support every mass spectrometer, we here at QuietBench like to spread the news when researchers make an innovative contribution to science. Here’s a report on a new discovery, aided by a specific mass spectrometry technique, that has increased our knowledge about human understanding.

The Role of Mass Spectrometry in a Recent Accidental Finding

Earlier this year, The Scientist reported on an unexpected discovery from a study into molecular analysis. Researchers in China were using a newly developed mass spectrometry technique to analyze single neurons, charting chemical constituents, physiological changes, and metabolism. Being able to investigate chemical changes at the cell level opens the window to observing physiological and pathological processes at levels not previously possible.

During this process, the researchers noticed the unanticipated presence of urocanic acid in the neurons. This acid absorbs ultraviolet (UV) light and may have a role in preventing UV skin damage. A literature search revealed that this molecule had not previously been detected in the central nervous system. Recognizing that they were entering uncharted territory, the researchers began to explore the possibility that UV light could boost urocanic acid levels in the brain.

Discovering How UV Light Impacts Learning and Memory

The results of their research were significant. Urocanic acid is also known to be an intermediate molecule generated in the conversion of histidine to glutamate, which is an excitatory neurotransmitter. Could urocanic acid and glutamate levels be connected?

Exposing mice to UV light, the researchers were able to confirm the connection between urocanic acid and glutamate, and also to link UV light to the increase in their presence in the brain. The researchers then were able to prove that mice exposed to increased UV light also experienced improvements in learning and memory. This skin-brain connection reveals that UV light can indeed support the human capacity to learn and understand.

Awaiting Further Developments in Research

Since mice are nocturnal and see the sun relatively rarely, further research must be done to confirm these connections and perhaps eventually apply them to humans. Meanwhile, since UV light is also still highly correlated with skin damage and cancer, this news is not an invitation for humans to stay out in the sun. It is, however, an intriguing development. Down the line, in fact, there may come a day when people can benefit from increased cognition capacity without having to expose themselves to UV rays at all.

Meanwhile, we hope that exposing you to these periodic news bulletins about the beneficial assistance of mass spectrometry in research labs is sufficient to keep you moving forward on your own research trajectories.

Your mass spec is a valuable partner in your research and deserves the very best foundation upon which to work. This is why we have created dedicated lab furniture that functions as a sturdy and silent partner in your discoveries. To learn more about how our IonBench MS can improve your workflow and hasten your own new understandings and discoveries, contact Tim Hawkins today by email at tim.hawkins@farhawk.com or by phone at 1-888-669-1233.

Understanding Noise Safety: How Does Noise Damage Hearing?

The QuietBench blog often focuses on lab safety and the importance of reducing noise in your lab. But have you given any thought to exactly how noise damages your hearing? We thought it might be good to take a step back from our noise safety posts about decibels and the difference between sound and noise to talk about the mechanics of hearing and how dedicated lab furniture can help preserve it.

A Primer on Hearing and the Ear

To understand noise safety, we need to understand the ear. Like many systems in the human body, the ear is an incredibly complex and delicate instrument with multiple subsystems. To understand how these systems function, let’s follow a sound wave as it travels through the three parts of the ear.

The Outer Ear

Sound enters our body through our outer ear, which includes the pinna, which is the external part of the ear. It is shaped to collect and funnel sound waves into the narrow passage called the ear canal, which leads to the eardrum at the back of the outer ear. The ear canal and eardrum can be accessed and damaged by external forces, such as cotton swabs, but are seldom damaged by noise itself.

The Middle Ear

The eardrum vibrates as a sound wave hits it, sending vibrations into three tiny bones located in the middle portion of the ear. These bones, called the malleus, incus, and stapes, serve the function of coupling air vibrations with fluid vibrations in the cochlea, which is in the inner ear.

The Inner Ear

The inner ear is where the magic happens and where the ear is most susceptible to noise-induced damage. The cochlea has two portions, an upper and a lower, with an elastic partition, called the basilar membrane, separating the two. When the bones in the middle ear set the cochlear fluid to vibrating, a wave forms along that basilar membrane.

The basilar membrane is covered with tiny hairs, which ride that wave — much like seaweed in an ocean current. At the top of each tiny hair is a microscopic projection, called a stereocilium. When the wave moves the basilar membrane, these stereocilia bump against an overhead structure and bend. That bending action causes pore-type channels to open. Chemicals then rush into the cell at the top of the stereocilia.

That chemical reaction causes an electrical signal, which is transmitted to the brain through the auditory nerve. The brain completes the process by translating that electrical signal into a sound that the mind can recognize and interpret.

Noise Safety and the Inner Ear

Most noise-induced hearing loss is caused by the damage and death of those inner ear hair cells and stereocilia. There are exceptions, such as the bursting of the eardrum or damage to the three bones in the middle ear, which can be caused by extremely sudden and loud noises, such as explosions.

While it’s unlikely a lab will exceed the threshold of 85dB of noise per 8-hour shift that regulations have set, it’s still important to be careful. After all, when those inner ear hairs and stereocilia are damaged and die, they do not grow back. (This is one way in which we are different from birds and amphibians whose hair cells do regenerate.)

Make Lab Safety a Priority with Dedicated Lab Furniture

The need to reduce noise and protect hearing is why we promote our dedicated lab furniture as a key component in your lab safety program. Our IonBench MS decreases the impact of mass spec vacuum pump noise by 75%, saving countless inner ear hair cells from a premature death. To learn more about how our IonBenches can promote noise safety in the lab, contact Tim Hawkins today at 1-888-669-1233 or by email.

Ototoxicity: A Covert Noise-Safety Issue to Include in Lab-Safety Procedures

The human body is a wonderfully interconnected system. This can be a boon or a bane for researchers seeking to heal the body and for lab safety teams seeking to protect it. As we recently noted, lab-safety issues aren’t always obvious. One postdoctoral fellow almost lost her sight due to the covert impact of UV light. For this reason, we are focusing today on another covert noise-safety concern that has come to our attention.

Introducing Ototoxicants

We usually assume that hearing will be adversely affected by loud noises or perhaps physical damage to the ear drum or to cochlear hair cells, which receive and transmit sound. However, ototoxicants, in the form of chemical compounds, are additional threats to the ear. Exposure can occur through inhalation, skin absorption, or ingestion—none of which have any direct connection with noise or hearing.

Ototoxic chemicals travel through the bloodstream and damage the ear. Two types can impair a person’s ability to hear or hear clearly: Neurotoxicants damage the nerve fibers that support hearing and balance; and cochleotoxicants damage those cochlear hair cells, impairing the ability to hear.

Multiple substance classes contain ototoxic chemicals. These include pharmaceuticals such as furosemide and streptomycin (although toxicity at therapeutic doses is limited, certain labs may routinely handle significantly larger quantities of these substances); solvents such as toluene and ethylbenzene; asphyxiants such as carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide; nitriles such as acrylonitrile and cis-crotononitrile; and metals compounds that include germanium dioxide, mercury, tin, and lead.

Why Ototoxicants Are a Noise-Safety Issue

The impact of ototoxicants on the human body is not straightforward. It can act alone or in tandem with loud noise in the lab or workplace. Hearing loss can be amplified if people are exposed to ototoxins concurrently with loud noises. Furthermore, noise and ototoxins have a synergistic effect, exponentially increasing the potential damage. Impulse noise seems to particularly exacerbate the effects of ototoxicants.

No single-exposure threshold exists for ototoxicity. Damage rates vary for each particular chemical based on compound family; chemical properties; exposure route, concentration and duration; noise synergy; and individual body tolerances and risk factors, including age.

Ototoxicant Hearing Effects and Lab Safety

Ototoxicants affect not only the ears but also the central portions of the auditory system, including the brain, which varies the effects of ototoxicants. In addition to the loss of hearing, people affected may lose the ability to hear clearly and distinguish sounds. For example, they may not be able to determine the direction from which a sound is coming. They may lose the ability to sense a time gap between sounds or the ability to differentiate sounds with a similar frequency.

Such speech-discrimination dysfunctions can become a major lab-safety issue. If someone does not correctly sense the direction of a sound, they may run toward a dangerous situation instead of away from it. The inability to hear clearly could result in misunderstood directions. The inability to hear coworkers’ warnings could lead to a lab accident.

What does all this mean for lab-safety protocols? OSHA recommends audiometric tests to determine loss of hearing acuity or comprehension. However, they note that such tests will not determine the cause of any loss in hearing or comprehension.

Labs that handle any ototoxic substances (see the OSHA article for a more complete list) should consider addressing all noise-safety issues, such as enclosing mass spec roughing pumps in dedicated lab furniture, by using our IonBench MS. To learn more about the noise-dampening effects of IonBench dedicated lab furniture, contact Tim Hawkins today at tim.hawkins@farhawk.com or 1-888-669-1233.

Office Noise Safety Study Results Have Bearing for Lab Safety Too

Many studies on standard office work environments have little correlation with the lab environment — but there are exceptions to every rule. The results of a recent study of 1,200 employees and executives, conducted by Oxford Economics and Plantronics, reveal some helpful understandings about workplace noise that impacts lab safety as well as the office milieu.

Focusing without Interruptions

One goal of the study was to examine the impact of open-plan workspaces, which are increasingly the norm for office construction. Since many labs feature open-plan workspaces, the results of this study are particularly relevant for lab safety. The study revealed one of the most important priorities for workers was the ability to focus without interruptions. Many of the perks and amenities, such as free food and a place to relax, were much less important than the ability to work effectively.

Unfortunately, open office plans do not facilitate that ability to focus. Conversations amongst colleagues and the compound effects of simple sounds like drawers closing and technology humming have created a noisy workspace where employees find it difficult to concentrate. Furthermore, executives — who have retained their private offices — are not aware of the prevalence of both noise and employee discomfort with it.

Millennials and Lab Safety

Another aspect of this study focused on the role of technology and constant connectivity. The survey included 300 Millennial employees who were more likely than their older colleagues to find noise — especially ambient noise — to be a distraction at work. They are also more likely to take steps to avoid that noise, either through listening to music on headsets or leaving the office in order to find a quieter place to work.

In the lab environment, both of those finding could cause problems. From a lab safety perspective, headsets that can drown out ambient noise could also prevent the wearer from hearing words spoken by others. In the case of a lab safety accident, this can have serious consequences. Obviously, lab workers cannot leave the lab and still get their work done since their job often relies on sensitive, integrated equipment that must remain in the lab rather than moved around in the way that a laptop can be picked up and taken to another part of the office complex.

Technology and Noise Safety

Another interesting finding in this study relates to the role of technology in the workplace. Technology integration is, in the study’s words, “a work in progress.” Employees are expected to stay connected with the office on their tech devices at all times, but a full 40% say that there is no seamless integration between their home and office tools. At one level, this is less of a concern for the lab environment and lab safety because staff are limited in what they can take home to work on.

On the other hand, the constant push for connectivity can become in itself a lab safety issue. The study found that connectivity breeds compulsive behavior, which can lead to burnout. This burnout can have severe lab safety consequences when levels of noise and distractions lead to unfocused work and workplace accidents. Employees who retreat into their tech devices to escape noise are more likely to be distracted by their tech and oblivious to what is happening around them.

The results of this study confirm the need to address noise safety by minimizing noise in the lab. This is why our dedicated lab furniture includes vacuum pump enclosures that decrease noise by 75%. To learn more about how noise safety measures and dedicated lab furniture can make a difference in your lab, contact Tim Hawkins at 1-888-669-1233 or by email:  tim.hawkins@farhawk.com.

 

Lab Safety Issues Aren’t Always Obvious or Catastrophic

We frequently talk about safety in the lab on our blog and periodically share news about accidents that bring attention to the issue of lab safety. We do this to remind busy researchers that some safety issues can be addressed by investing in high-quality dedicated lab furniture. Other safety issues are sometimes not as simple.

Not All Accidents are Obvious

And not all accidents are catastrophic. Some of the most insidious lab accidents, in fact, occur over time. As we have pointed out in the past, even moderate levels of noise in the lab can have hidden, adverse effects on the health and well-being of staff. Long-term noise exposure wears down a body’s system in multiple ways, causing stress and a multitude of silent secondary illnesses like cardiovascular disease and sleep loss.

A Recent Insidious Lab Accident

Noise is not the only insidious cause of lab incidents. As we learned recently, a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University in New York experienced a lab safety accident that could have resulted in the loss of her sight. She was inspecting agarose gels under UV light, not wearing goggles, and did not know that a simple plastic cover on the UV light screen needed to be closed to protect both her eyes and her skin.

Over the course of just a few months, she suffered significant damage to her eyes. A trip to the hospital and many visits with a specialist followed. Two incorrect diagnoses slowed the process of addressing this lab safety issue. While the good news is that this student suffered no long-term permanent sight damage, the accident clearly illustrates the dangers of hidden lab safety issues.

Improving Lab Safety with Guidelines, Notices, and Meetings

Fortunately, Columbia University took a series of concrete steps to address the causes of this lab accident. First, they updated their existing lab safety guidelines to include safety information and precautions related to ultraviolet equipment. At each UV workstation, they placed goggles in a prominent location and added warning signs about UV dangers.

They also focused on conversation and collaboration. They held a series of meetings with staff from the university’s office of environmental health and safety. Those meetings focused on both the specific concerns of working in that particular lab and on the identification of general hazards. Lab workers also met together and discussed the accident. Then they went further. Each person shared which lab safety hazards they focused on, recognizing that no one person usually considers everything. By doing this, every staff member heard about the variety of hazards within the lab.

Including Dedicated Lab Furniture in the Lab Safety Conversation

Hopefully some member of that university lab team mentioned noise as a lab safety issue. Like UV light, noise is often taken for granted in a lab because its dangers aren’t obvious. This is why we designed our MS dedicated lab furniture with two vacuum pump enclosures that eliminate the noise from those pumps by 75%. To learn more about how dedicated lab furniture can prevent insidious lab accidents, contact Tim Hawkins at tim.hawkins@farhawk.com or 1-888-669-1233.

What to Do Before Your Lab Furniture Arrives

Are your mass spectrometry needs increasing? If you’re having conversations about ordering a new mass spec, make sure to order your new lab bench at the same time. Standard delivery of our dedicated lab furniture takes 2–3 weeks. This way, you can receive the lab bench in plenty of time to have it set up and waiting for your mass spec when it arrives. (If you’ve recently ordered a new mass spectrometer, call us for details on rush delivery.)

Just don’t forget, you need to prepare for the arrival of that mass spec lab furniture as well. Here are our tips for preparing the space for your new IonBench dedicated lab furniture.

Tip #1: Check for a Good Fit

Naturally you’re going to measure the space where you want your new equipment and lab bench to be installed. But don’t forget the prep work involved in getting your new bench to that installation point. As we’ve talked about in a prior post, you need to check the dimensions of every step of the journey from loading dock to installation point.

One question we frequently get is whether our IonBenches come pre-assembled. The answer is yes. As we discuss in the delivery section of our FAQs page, our IonBenches are delivered fully assembled and ready to use. While some additional items, like monitor arms, are installed on-site, the benches themselves are delivered in one piece, so you will need plenty of room to get it through doorways and down hallways.

Tip #2: Prepare for Uncrating Your Dedicated Lab Furniture

Another consideration is the uncrating of your new lab bench. We are responsible only for the delivery of your new lab furniture, but we keep a list of reliable third-party vendors that can uncrate your bench, dispose of the packing materials, and transfer the IonBench into your lab location. If you need those services, just let us know and we’ll recommend a team to help you.

Tip #3: Ask about Insurance

It’s a good idea that anyone who touches any part of your mass spectrometry system be fully bonded and insured. Many labs require it. This is especially important if space requirements demand that your new dedicated lab furniture be delivered uncrated. In large cities like Boston and New York, where space is at a premium and loading docks are usually compressed, goods often must be delivered completely uncrated.

Because of this, we suggest that you make certain every individual or team that’s responsible for any portion of the delivery and installation process be both bonded and insured. We assure you that we are fully bonded and insured for our part in the manufacturing and delivery process.

Do you have other questions about the delivery and installation of dedicated lab furniture? Tim Hawkins can answer them. Contact him at tim.hawkins@farhawk.com or 1-888-669-1233 to discuss the particular needs of your organization.

Four More Reasons You Need Mobile Lab Furniture

In our last post, we extolled the virtues of mobile lab furniture and discussed why it’s beneficial for safe and smooth functionality in your lab. In case you weren’t convinced by the first set of rationale, here are four additional reasons why standard, stationary lab furniture is not as good as an IonBench for modern labs.

Reason 5: Expand Laboratory Capacity

Expansion can be a tricky issue and can disrupt the organization in your lab. Sometimes additional work is temporary, or you’re fulfilling a short-term contract with funding that might not be renewed. You can’t afford to permanently expand your lab, but you need additional processing capacity—and you need it stat. This is where mobile lab furniture shines.

Perhaps there is not enough space around your existing, permanent lab fixtures to install another instrument. Maybe additional permanent dedicated lab furniture is not within budgetary parameters. Mobile lab furniture can accommodate expansion, then be tucked into a safe, out-of-the-way location until it is needed again, the next time your lab needs to flex its capacity.

Reason 6: Take Renovations in Stride

Even if expansion or renovation is possible, that raises another set of significant problems and issues. If your lab is undergoing renovation, how will you keep up with current demand? The answer is with mobile lab furniture, which can be used to easily move entire systems to temporary quarters, where current processes can continue uninterrupted during the renovation period. They can also be easily returned to the renovated space and rearranged with ease as you determine the best configurations for utilizing your upgraded lab environment.

Reason 7: Easily Align with Utilities

Any renovation or new lab project will give you the opportunity to place utilities exactly where you want and need them, but changing instruments will inevitably bring challenges. Standard dedicated lab furniture that doesn’t move easily can keep the new instrument apart from those utilities. Fortunately, mobile lab furniture makes it easy to move any instrument to meet the utilities. This means no need for the additional expense of rerouting gas lines or installing additional outlets. This solution also prevents the possibility of lab accidents, which can occur if shortcuts such as extension cords or tubes were employed instead.

Reason 8: Simplify Cleaning

Accidents happen. Spills can be hazardous, be it the chemicals or the broken containers. It is critical that any cleanup be timely, thorough and complete. With standard furniture or even some dedicated lab furniture, cleanup is difficult because the lab benches are impossible to move and it is tricky to be certain that the spill was completely removed. With mobile lab furniture, it’s easy and straightforward to move the instrument or even the entire system, clean all sides of the IonBench thoroughly, then return the instruments to their proper location and resume work quickly and efficiently.

Have we convinced you of the many benefits of mobile lab furniture? If you still have questions or are ready to get started, please contact Tim Hawkins at tim.hawkins@farhawk.com or 1-888-669-1233. He can discuss your specific lab situation and offer suggestions on how to best configure dedicated lab furniture in your lab.

Some Reasons You Need Mobile Lab Furniture

Where would we be without our mobile phones? We can keep in touch with loved ones and coworkers, do research, choose restaurants, pay for nearly everything—all from the convenience of our phones, wherever we are. This gives us maximum flexibility in living busy lives. Mobility is a key concept these days—and it applies to your lab as well. With mobile lab furniture, you have maximum flexibility in keeping a busy lab working smoothly, safely and efficiently.

Not so sure about that? Here are four reasons why you need mobile lab furniture like our IonBenches.

Reason 1: Simplify Service

How many times have you performed calisthenics in your lab, trying to get at the back of an instrument in order to perform service or routine maintenance, or check that wires and cords aren’t being pinched? Some labs solve this problem by leaving a service corridor behind all the dedicated lab furniture. What they make up for in convenience, however, they lose in space because that 12- to-18-inch corridor is a waste of valuable space in a cramped lab.

However, if your dedicated lab furniture comes with casters, you can keep your mobile lab furniture against the wall (where it’s also more stable and less likely to be knocked over if someone bumps into it). With IonBench, you can safely, easily move the entire system away from the wall whenever you need to access the back of the unit.

Reason 2: Take Your System to the Process

Process optimization often requires fast turnarounds. With mobile lab furniture, you don’t have to draw samples and then get them delivered to the lab in a timely fashion. Instead, take your entire MS system to the processing point and complete the entire procedure in one place. By utilizing mobile lab furniture, you can keep utilities and peripheral instruments safely connected and simplify at-source monitoring.

Reason 3: Optimize Peripheral Placement

Workflow is key to an organized and efficient lab. While it’s great to have your mass spec mobilized on one of our IonBenches, don’t forget the peripherals. When you move your LC closer to the source, you can improve throughput by as much as 10%. With mobile lab furniture, it’s easy to move that LC back out of the way when it’s not needed, or easily connect it with another process in a different part of the lab.

Reason 4: Rearrange Your Lab Whenever You Need

A significant challenge to efficiency is rapidly changing priorities. In order to prioritize customer service, it’s frequently necessary to reorganize workflow and process priorities. With mobile lab furniture, it’s easy to accommodate those changes by simply moving systems and peripherals around the lab, and even around the building. When your dedicated lab furniture doesn’t move, it’s much more difficult to imagine reconfiguring your lab to meet evolving needs.

If these four reasons haven’t fully convinced you of the mobile lab furniture benefits, stay tuned. In our next post, we’ll share four more reasons why your dedicated lab furniture should come with strong casters attached. Meanwhile, we invite you to contact Tim Hawkins at tim.hawkins@farhawk.com or 1-888-669-1233 to discuss how your lab might best be configured with dedicated lab furniture.

Not All Dedicated Lab Furniture is Built the Same Way

There are many reasons why a lab work space is different than that of your typical work environment. Most don’t handle dangerous chemicals on a regular basis, for example. Nor are they noisy, sometimes chaotic environments with loud instruments that are heavy enough to cause bodily harm. For those reasons and more, we believe labs should always be treated differently than other work environments—and that includes the furniture used.

Strong, resistant dedicated lab furniture is key for safety and efficiency in a lab. But once you start shopping for lab benches, you will discover there are differences in what’s available. We get a lot of questions about what makes our dedicated lab furniture different from the rest. Read on to find out the answers, based on information provided by our IonBench expert, Tim Hawkins.

Chem-res: Not Your Average Laminate

Whether it’s on television crime shows or in your own lab, you’ll find that the typical color of lab bench surfaces is black. That color isn’t there to make a fashion statement. It’s the result of constructing the benches with Chem-res, a specially designed epoxy resin that’s universally recognized and accepted by staff and researchers around the world. Chem-res actually comes in a number of different formulas, each manufactured to stand up to the particular needs of certain lab situations.

When shopping for dedicated lab furniture, don’t assume every black laminate is Chem-res. Ask to be sure. Also, explain what specific substances your lab bench surface needs to be protected from, and the instrument weights the bench will need to withstand. If you’re not satisfied with the answers, contact Tim Hawkins at 1-888-669-1233.

Upgrading Dedicated Lab Furniture with Trespa

But that just scratches the surface (ahem). If you need your mass spectrometry lab furniture to withstand high acid exposure on a regular basis, we can further improve your IonBench. For example, if your research involves inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, we can easily customize your bench by exchanging the Chem-res surface for one made of acid-resistant Trespa.

Why We Avoid Metal in Our Mass Spectrometry Benches

Something else that makes IonBenches different in the world of dedicated lab furniture is that we minimize metal in their construction.

Metals, being good conductors, also transmit vibrations. When you’re working with sensitive instruments, such as mass spectrometry technology, vibrations shorten the life of those machines.

For this reason, we manufacture our IonBench MS with laminated wood. Not only is this material strong enough to support the weight of mass spectrometry instruments, but it’s also capable of absorbing vibrations, keeping your instruments tuned to the peak of efficiency.

As you can see, many considerations go into each component of a good lab bench (to learn more, click here). Plus, every aspect of our IonBenches is carefully constructed to meet the particular needs of mass spectrometry.

To learn more about our IonBenches and ask Tim Hawkins your questions, contact him at tim.hawkins@farhawk.com or 1-888-669-1233.

Answering Your Questions: Why Dedicated Lab Furniture Is Worth the Price

As you might imagine, we get a lot of questions from lab managers and other professionals who are researching furniture for their labs. First-time buyers of dedicated lab furniture for mass spectrometry, HPLC, and related instruments often bring up some excellent points. Tim Hawkins, our IonBench expert, hears one question frequently: “Why can’t I build a good MS bench myself?” Read on, for our multi-part answer to this commonly asked question.

Yes, You Could, But…

The short answer to the above question is, “Well, actually you could build something similar yourself.” You could go to your local home improvement warehouse store, pick up similar, but likely less quality materials, and construct a basic piece of lab furniture on your own. You could build a sturdy table and make it the size and shape you need for the portion of your lab that’s set aside for mass spectrometry. You might even save a little money in the process.

However, there’s a lot more to developing a reliable and safe piece of dedicated lab furniture than what we just mentioned—which is why our IonBenches cost more than what you might build yourself.

Designing the Best Dedicated Lab Furniture

Let’s begin by talking about the design. We’ve seen a lot of labs in action and we understand how to make our IonBenches function efficiently in any lab configuration or situation. We know what types of electrical and other connections need to be included in the design and where they should enter and exit the bench without getting in the way of the mass spectrometer or becoming pinched or rubbed when the bench is moved.

We understand that mass spectrometry involves supporting the significant weight of these instruments while also allowing you to safely move your instrument around the lab. This is why we build our MS benches with strong, sturdy caster wheels—to keep your benches mobile and your procedures always moving forward.

Using the Right Materials for Mass Spectrometry

The materials used in our dedicated lab furniture—like those caster wheels—are another key component of our successful IonBenches. Mass spectrometry involves heat, oil, and a lot of noise from the roughing pumps. If you build a basic cabinet with materials from a home improvement store, you’re potentially introducing lab safety hazards that could result in a fire or accident.

For example, not all foams and laminates—and the glues that hold them—are up to the task. Can those materials tolerate the heat that is generated by roughing pumps? Remember, those pumps have to be put in some kind of insulated cabinet in order to keep lab noise down to a workable—and safe—level. Basic residential foam insulation and laminate choices also may not be able to handle the oils and various chemicals found in modern labs.

Valuing Expertise and Experience

There is a final reason why we believe you should leave the building of dedicated lab furniture to the experts. Just as expertise is key to the success of your lab procedures, the same is true with the building of lab benches.

As research professionals, you have been trained to run samples or manage the people who do. Through your education and experience, you have learned what’s required to run a lab in a safe and efficient manner. But chances are that education and experience, while considerable, didn’t include learning how to construct reliable, safe, and efficient lab benches. In other words, you’re better off spending time doing the things you’re paid to do.

In the end, it comes down to efficiency as much as anything else: Why spend your time and energy attempting to do something you haven’t been trained to do when you can instead rely on the dedicated lab furniture professionals at IonBench, who are experts in their field?

To discuss more of the advantages of our mass spectrometry furniture—or ask any other questions you may have—Tim Hawkins will be glad to help you. Please reach out to him at tim.hawkins@farhawk.com or 1-888-669-1233.