Innovation that drives performance and delivers cell culture confidence

Thermo Scientific CO2 incubators are designed to provide healthy cultures that best mimic in vivo responses, driving your downstream success. To produce reliable and consistent results, our portfolio is based on decades of proven technologies and continually advancing features to support the demands of your specific applications.

Contamination control

Contamination is a risk for anyone working with cultured cells, so our CO2 incubators are designed and engineered to prioritize risk mitigation. Both passive and active contamination control technologies are available to help maintain cell health while reducing maintenance and cleaning tasks. 


Interior surface materials


Preventing unwanted microbiological growth and enabling easy cleaning begins with the incubator chamber. Choose from polished 304 stainless steel or 100% copper interiors that give you peace of mind and allow you to confidently pursue your work.  

100% copper interior

More cell culture professionals are choosing CO₂ incubators with 100% pure copper interiors because they are naturally easy to clean with no special handling required. Pure copper surfaces provide long service life and are safe for cultured cells. Our CO₂ incubators provide durability, reliability, and recyclability for a smart, sustainable choice. Only 100% copper gives you such confidence.



"We like the 100% copper incubator because we just don’t experience any problems, from entry level to post-docs with 20-30 papers, none of our team has any contamination problems at all. It’s just so easy."

Lab Manager with 11 years of experience with Thermo Scientific Heracell copper CO₂ incubators

Sterilization cycles

Choose from a selection of high temperature elimination technologies available with your CO2 incubator.  During the automated cycle, heat is continuously circulated throughout the incubator chamber, meeting international pharmacopeia requirements to eliminate any colder areas where microorganisms could survive. This process simplifies cleaning without the need for autoclaving and reduces the need to use hazardous chemicals which could have negative effects on cultured cells and laboratory personnel. Elimination of biological contaminants including fungi, spores, mycoplasma, and other bacteria is achieved, while avoiding the physical constraints of UV germicidal lamps and ongoing costs, including handling and storage of potentially toxic germicides. All of our CO2 incubator systems are independently tested using at least 1 million approved biological indicator organisms in accordance with U.S. and EU pharmacopeia standards.

HEPA filtration

Airborne particulates are a primary source of contamination in most lab settings. Our CO2 incubators provide advanced HEPA filtration technology that protects your cultures with ISO Class 5 cleanroom-like air quality conditions in only five minutes after a 30-second door opening.  In-chamber HEPA filtration combined with active air circulation captures particles of any size that represent a risk to your work.

In-chamber HEPA filtration provides continual protection against airborne contaminates by filtering the entire volume of air inside the incubator every 60 seconds to achieve cleanroom-quality ISO Class 5 (Class 100) air in 5 minutes following a 30-second door opening.

Cell Locker system

A breakthrough in cell culture management, the unique Thermo Scientific Cell Locker System divides the cell culture incubator into 6 individual, segregated polycarbonate chambers which are autoclavable. The individual chambers enable enhanced culture protection and security, remain more stable, recover faster, and use less gas even under hypoxic conditions. The Cell Locker System represents a novel approach to providing improved culturing conditions for primary cells, stem cells, and other sensitive cell types.

Divided chambers prevent cross contamination

With the Cell Locker System, each individual Cell Locker chamber is effectively a quarantine chamber. Dual 0.2µm membrane filters permit air circulation but prevent entry of contaminants. Dishes and flasks can be removed individually, as a group on a work tray, or with the entire Cell Locker chamber with an optional cover for extended protection.


Precision sensors

Precise and reliable measurement of environmental factors inside the incubator is critical to mimicking in vivo conditions that ensure accurate cell responses in downstream assays.  Our incubators utilize sensors positioned directly in the incubation chamber for precise measurement of the conditions experienced by your cells. This design requires more robust sensor construction but delivers immediate and accurate corrections to any variations as they occur. Choose from robust thermal conductivity (TC) or advanced infrared (IR) CO2 sensor technologies, depending on your application requirements.

Reliable Thermal Conductivity (TC) Sensors

Thermal conductivity (TC) sensors are robust, inexpensive, and provide a long service life. Some models incorporate humidity compensation for improved response.

Precision Advanced Infrared (IR) Sensors

Choose advanced infrared (IR) sensors for direct measurement or for applications utilizing downstream monitoring.  

Oxygen control

Thermo Scientific variable oxygen control (“tri-gas”) incubators are uniquely designed to optimize growth of mammalian cells in an environment that closely mimics in vivo conditions. Inside the body, oxygen concentrations range from 1% to 14%, rather than the 20–21% found in the atmosphere. In many cases, cells cultured in low oxygen (hypoxia) grow faster, live longer, and show lower stress.  Scientists use our incubators with variable oxygen control to increase the biological relevance of their cultures, enhance growth performance, reduce differentiation and stress responses, and more closely simulate tumor microenvironments. 

By using an incubator with oxygen control, you can simulate hypoxic (1–21%) environments for primary cell, stem cell and embryo research applications, or hyperoxic (5–90%) conditions for research in lung, retina, neural and other sensitive tissues.


"Our lab mandates this [5% oxygen] in order to mimic conditions in the body so that cells are as close to those conditions as possible and nothing is different. All of the signals for proper epigenetics are there."

Stem cell researcher at biomedical institute

Humidity control

A selection of humidity reservoir designs is available to enhance performance and workflows according to your requirements. Choose from the simplicity of a traditional, removable water pan or unique integrated reservoirs that are directly heated for high relative humidity (rH) levels and faster recovery. An external reservoir simplifies maintenance and allows refill without disrupting culturing, with full active rH parameter control, ideal for applications requiring precise monitoring of humidity levels.


Traditional water pan

Integrated reservoir

Integrated covered reservoir

External reservoir

Removable water pan for manual rH control

Large directly heated, panless reservoir provides high rH levels and fast recovery


Protected, directly heated, integrated water pan provides high rH levels with leading recovery and easy filling and draining

Active humidity control with an external reservoir for easy replenishment of water without disrupting culturing

Visual monitoring

Visual plus low-level alarm

Visual plus low-level alarm


Visual plus low-level alarm


Heating technology

We offer a choice of either direct heat or water jacketed CO2 incubators, each delivering unique advantages. Direct heat technology is convenient, lightweight and available with high temperature sterilization. Water jacketed incubators deliver excellent temperature stability and protection in the event of unexpected power outages.

Direct heat chamber construction

Efficient high-performance heaters located on every chamber surface provide even temperature distribution throughout the entire chamber.

Water jacketed chamber construction

Unique triple wall construction provides outstanding temperature stability supplied by dual layers of water and high-quality insulation.

Optimized airflow

In order to provide a homogenous environment throughout the chamber, our CO2 incubators feature fan-assisted air circulation. Without active circulation, conditions in the incubator chamber will stratify, creating different microenvironments in different areas. Our innovative circulation designs deliver better uniformity, faster door opening recovery and optimized cell growth throughout the incubator chamber.

THRIVE airflow system

Precisely engineered airflow patterns effectively distribute the critical environmental conditions (temperature, gases and humidity), ensuring all cells experience the same conditions, without risk of desiccation.* The air stream first travels over the direct-heated, covered, integrated water reservoir, which results in 50% faster humidity recovery than a standard water pan design. The in-line HEPA filter cleans the airstream of all sizes of particles and microorganisms, protecting cultures from contamination. The air then passes over the in-chamber sensors, which react and condition the air before gently circulating it among the cultures.


* Based on internal standards for 30-second door opening, recovery calculated to 98% of starting value for temperature and CO2 , and 95% of starting value of humidity.

Intuitive user interface

While Thermo Scientific CO2 incubators are loaded with performance-oriented features and advanced technology, they remain surprisingly easy to use.  All our incubators offer simple, intuitive control. Choose from a simple alphanumeric control center or an advanced touchscreen display.

iCAN touchscreen display on Heracell Vios CO₂ Incubator

The intelligent Thermo Scientific iCAN touchscreen interface simplifies user interactions and control. Easy to read and offered in multiple languages, the door-mounted control panel gives users easy access to programming features, incubator operational data, and system alerts.  A bright LED screen provides complete data visibility and at-a-glance monitoring even from across the lab. The interface displays performance trend graphing, on-screen menu prompts, error and usage logs, and configurable settings.

Cleanroom certified

Responding to the rising demand for proven cleanroom compatibility, we offer the first particle control system designed for a cleanroom CO2 incubator. This innovative technology controls and captures particulates that, in a different incubator, could be released into the cleanroom environment. In our system, air throughout the casing is directed through a HEPA filter in the rear to assure no disruption to the surrounding environment. This technology is third party validated and certified for ISO Class 5 and GMP Grade A/B environments.

Our cleanroom certified incubators utilize brushed 304 stainless steel exteriors compatible with both dry non-condensing VHP and 3% manual wipe hydrogen peroxide cleaning methods, silicone sealed exterior casings and IP54 rated componentry to protect from dust and to resist liquid spray.


A documentation package is available with our cleanroom incubators including: Regulatory certificates, Declaration of Conformity (CE) with EU law, CSA and QMS Certificates, recommended protocols, parts and consumables lists, maintenance schedules, recommended cleaning solutions and procedures, factory documentation and specification, certificates of conformance, calibration and technical specifications, and 3rd party certificate of compatibility with ISO Class 5 and GMP Grade A/B cleanroom environments.