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Biosafety Cabinet

What is a Biosafety Cabinet?

Biological Safety Cabinets (BSC) from Alpha Linear are widely used for experimental procedures involving research, trials and analysis with harmful pathogens and biological samples/agents, during which a sterile work area is critical for successful results.

Alpha Linear range of biosafety cabinets are designed to function as per EN 12469:2000 and NSF/ANSI 49 standards that set performance criteria for microbiological cabinets. Under normal working conditions, the biosafety cabinets protect the samples, user and the surrounding environment from cross-contamination and any accidental exposures.

Depending on the risk assessment of the biological samples under study and the nature of experimental procedures to be performed, biosafety cabinets from Alpha Linear come in different configurations broadly classified as Class II.


Alpha Linear manufactures both Class II Type A2 and Class II Type B2 Biosafety Cabinets.

Class II Type A2 cabinets recirculate 70% of the exhaust air, while 30% is discharged outside. They offer personnel, product, and environmental protection but provide limited protection for hazardous materials. They are suitable for working with biosafety levels 1, 2, and 3.

Class II Type B2 cabinets exhaust 100% of the air outside after HEPA filtration. They provide the highest level of personnel, product, and environmental protection, and are used when working with hazardous materials, such as volatile chemicals and radionuclides. They are suitable for biosafety levels 1, 2, 3, and 4.

In summary, Class II Type A2 cabinets are suitable for general biological work, while Class II Type B2 cabinets are necessary for working with hazardous materials and higher biosafety levels.

A Class II Biosafety Cabinet is a ventilated enclosure used in laboratories to handle hazardous biological materials. It provides protection for the operator, the environment, and the sample being worked on. Examples of applications include cell culture, microbiology, pharmaceutical compounding, and handling of infectious agents.

Alpha Linear works with a diverse set of customers who use our Class II Biosafety Cabinets for

  • Microbiology research
  • Virology research
  • Immunology research
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturing
  • Genetic research
  • Forensic analysis

The use of a Biosafety Cabinet during chemotherapy eliminates potential risks such as operator exposure to hazardous drugs, prevention of drug contamination, and protection against airborne particles. For example, it minimizes the risk of respiratory issues in healthcare professionals by containing aerosolized chemotherapy drugs, ensuring a safe working environment.

According to Indian National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) standards, it involves implementing a quality management system, conducting proficiency testing, maintaining calibration and traceability, and ensuring competent staff and appropriate infrastructure. Critical laboratory equipment that must be installed in a NABL accredited testing laboratory may include analytical balances, pH meters, spectrophotometers, autoclaves, incubators, laminar flow cabinets, centrifuges, microbiological safety cabinets, and environmental monitoring equipment, among others, depending on the specific testing requirements of the laboratory.

Biosafety Level 1 (BSL-1): Suitable for handling low-risk agents. No special precautions required. No biosafety cabinet needed.

Biosafety Level 2 (BSL-2): Appropriate for moderate-risk agents. Basic precautions such as lab coats and gloves are required. BSL-2 biosafety cabinets are recommended.

Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3): Used for handling high-risk agents that can cause serious diseases. Extra precautions, including specialized training and controlled access, are necessary. BSL-3 biosafety cabinets (Class II) with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are used.

Biosafety Level 4 (BSL-4): Required for handling dangerous and exotic agents posing a high risk of aerosol transmission. Strict isolation, full-body protective equipment, and specialized facilities are mandatory. Class III biosafety cabinets (also known as glove boxes) with negative pressure and HEPA filtration are used.

A biosafety cabinet is designed to provide personnel, product, and environmental protection by maintaining a negative pressure differential, preventing the escape of hazardous materials. A laminar flow cabinet, on the other hand, maintains a positive pressure differential to prevent the entry of contaminants. Examples: BSL-2 biosafety cabinet (negative pressure) vs. cleanroom laminar flow cabinet (positive pressure).

A biosafety cabinet is used for handling biological agents, such as microorganisms and cell cultures, providing personnel, product, and environmental protection. A fume hood is primarily used for chemical applications, such as handling toxic chemicals or volatile substances, providing user protection. Examples: BSL-2 biosafety cabinet (microorganisms) vs. chemical fume hood (hazardous chemicals).

Yes. Common activities include microbial culture preparation, sample inoculation, aseptic techniques, and handling infectious agents. Test samples can range from clinical specimens (e.g., blood, urine) to environmental samples (e.g., soil, water) containing bacteria, viruses, or fungi.

The qualification and certification procedures for a Biosafety Cabinet (BSC) involve verifying parameters such as airflow velocity, uniformity, containment, and filter integrity. Tests include airflow visualisation, particulate counting, filter integrity testing, and containment verification. Compliance with performance standards ensures the BSC meets safety requirements and provides a controlled environment for working with hazardous materials.

Alpha Linear performs all the validation tests necessary to objectively report if the Biosafety Cabinet is fit for continued usage or not as per ISO 14644-1.

A Biosafety Cabinet is an enclosed, ventilated workspace designed for handling hazardous biological materials, providing personnel, product, and environmental protection. It is suitable for procedures involving infectious agents like cell culture, sample preparation, and manipulation of microbes.

A PCR Hood, also known as a PCR workstation, is a sterile workspace designed to prevent contamination in polymerase chain reaction (PCR) experiments. It is suitable for procedures involving DNA amplification, PCR setup, and nucleic acid handling, where preventing contamination is crucial.

Alpha Linear Biosafety Cabinets and Laminar Flow Cabinets are “CE” certified, complying with EU directives including Machinery Directive (2006/42/EC), the Low Voltage Directive (2014/35/EU), and the Electromagnetic Compatibility Directive (2014/30/EU). Pertinent standards encompass EN 12469 for biological safety cabinets and EN 61010-1 for electrical safety. Compliance with these directives and standards ensures adherence to essential health, safety, and environmental requirements in the European market.