The Microbox is a breathing, clear polypropylene vessel with hermetically closing cover. The filter is the result of 15 years of scientific research and is the most efficient depth-filtration system on the market.
The success of the Microbox is due to the unique combination of qualities that is not equaled by any other type of filtering system:
• exceptionally efficient gas exchange capacity
• complete barrier against pests and contaminations
• crystal clear build with hermetically closing cover
Figure: photosynthesis breathing through filter
These conditions are optimal for growth phases requiring a large amount of gas exchange inside a sterile and humid environment, like for example the acclimatization phase of plantlets, without drying out the atmosphere within the box.
The lids of the boxes are equipped with our patented depth-filtration system, the efficiency of which can be adapted to the needs of the plant. The daily gas exchange rate of the box’s protected atmosphere can be varied from less than 10 to more than 80 exchanges! And even when the amount of exchanges reaches such high levels, the humidity loss is still low, never allowing the medium to dry out. This is impossible with surface (membrane) filtration.
The cover with filter and the box are made of resilient polypropylene. The crystal clear plastic and narrow filter strips ensure easy quality control.
The cover can be opened and closed very easily by hand, over and over again. This system does not require expensive machinery, it is designed for individual use under laminar air flow.
Microboxes retain their properties between minus 5°C and plus 135°C (23°F and 275°F). They are ecologically and economically interesting for customers who wish to reuse their containers. Both container and filter can be autoclaved many times over and still remain dependable.
There is no danger of infection: the resilient filter wicks of the Microbox form a complete barrier against pests and contaminations.
The secret of the filter is depth filtration, which is in essence comparable to the making of a HEPA-filter. Instead of keeping pests out by microperforation (membranes), the hydrophobic filters use randomly arranged fibres to effectively trap fungal spores, mites, trips and other pests and contaminations within their fabric.
This depth filtration system is today’s most efficient fabric which allows such a high gas exchange rate and limited dehydration while still maintaining its filtration capacity. It has proven its added value in micropropagation, especially where the gas exchange capacity under sterile conditions must be very high.
As opposed to ‘conventional’ filtration systems in micropropagation boxes that are based on surface filtration (membrane action), Microfilters guarantee an even and efficient gas exchange without drying out the atmosphere inside the box. They are composed of randomly arranged fibres in which microorganisms get trapped, much like the HEPA-filter system. This allows a fluent gas exchange without a drying-out zone below the filters, while still forming a firm barrier against microorganisms.
Years of research have shown that to obtain a gas exchange rate equivalent to the Microfilter system through surface filtration (membrane action), one is bound to cause drying out of the atmosphere within the box and reduce the survival capacity of the micropropagation culture. This is particularly pronounced at times when the plantlets are demanding a lot of fresh air supply, for example during the acclimatisation phase.
The Microbox’s trademark: depth filtration with randomly arranged fibres
The table below provides gas exchange capacities of different types of Microbox filters. Kv is the volumetric gas exchange coefficient by means of diffusion throughout the filters and represents the number of gas replacements in the vessels per time unit. The unit we use in these tables is Gas Exchanges per day: GE/day.
The Kv value is determined by the type of filter, the filter length and the gas volume in the containers. It should be noted, however, that these values are representative for empty boxes. These values change under growing conditions and are only indicative.
The choice of the ideal filter type will depend on a number of parameters, such as:
One may deduce from the Kv table that the dehydration rate under green filters (XXL+) is relatively high. However, this will be of minor influence with cultivars having a short generation time. Dehydration can also partly be overcome by increasing the volume of growing medium.
Conclusion: comparative tests at the client’s premises will decide which filter type is most appropriate for the required micropropagation purposes.
This innovative filtration technology combined with a polypropylene plastic container results in a new generation of autoclavable plant micropropagation vessels with filter: Barrier against pests and contaminations, high gas exchange, no dehydration and sterile: everything your invitro plants need for healthy development. Located in Belgium, in the centre of Europe, the Microboxes are easily shipped worldwide.
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office address: Veldeken 38 b - 9850 - Nevele - Belgium - phone: +32 9 280 09 80