When you walk into the wet lab at Greentown Labs, the first piece of equipment you see on your right is a centrifuge. This piece of equipment spins solutions at high speeds and an angle to separate higher density materials from lower density materials.
A centrifuge is crucial to scientists across a wide range of disciplines, from agtech to advanced materials to energy storage. Greentown members can use the machine to isolate or separate DNA, proteins, chemicals, and more.
The lab’s centrifuge, which was donated by Eppendorf, is large and offers refrigeration. “We’re very, very fortunate to have this,” says Carey Ann Comeau, Greentown’s senior manager of wet lab operations. “If we didn’t, our members would have to buy one for themselves. It’s a critical piece of equipment.”
Right next to the centrifuge is the shaker incubator, which makes sense—scientists tend to use the two devices together. The machine shakes microbes growing in broth and keeps them warm, giving microbes what they need to thrive: aeration, warmth, and access to nutrients. Comeau calls the shaker incubator the “the bread and butter of microbiology.”
“High level, this is how you cultivate many types of microbes,” she says.
Across the wet lab is the walk-in fume hood, and that’s where Comeau gets really excited. She worked as a bench scientist in academia for over a decade, but she never saw a walk-in fume hood until Greentown’s wet lab.
A fume hood pulls air inward and upward to keep scientists safe from dangerous materials they need to work with, such as toxic chemicals with vapors. What’s unique about the walk-in version is that wet lab members can put a cart, a piece of large equipment, or even their prototype in the large fume hood.
“This allows our members who want to start combining their prototyping and their science with a safe environment to do so,” Comeau explains.
Take these three devices together, and “they’re the pieces of equipment that allow our companies to do both basic science and large-scale experimentation,” she says.
Greentown’s 1,800-square-foot, BSL-1 wet lab is located right next to prototyping lab space, allowing for innovations both inside and outside the wet lab. The 26-bench wet lab, made possible by BASF, is home to startups creating everything from long-duration energy storage to energy-efficient manufacturing membranes to silk coatings that extend the freshness of produce and proteins. To read about Greentown’s wet lab member companies, visit our website.