Insect Chill Plates / Tables. Exposure to cold is the most common method to immobilize insects. When insects are sufficiently cooled, they suffer an initial loss of neuromuscular function ("chill coma") caused by decreased membrane potentials and reduced excitability of the neuromuscular system. For sorting and/or manipulation of immobilized insects (e.g., cooled down in a refrigerator, etc.), cold plates are a versatile and effective lab tool - allowing to defined exact cooling temperature compared to the often practiced cooling on ice. In chilling-sensitive insects, chronic or severe chilling causes disruption of ion and water homeostasis across membranes and epithelia, exacerbating the initial effects of chilling on membrane potential and cellular function, and these perturbations are strongly associated with the development of chilling injury and mortality. The beneficial effects of exposing insects to repeated short warm pulses during cold stress (fluctuating thermal regime, FTR) can be more easily implemented with programmable, professional chilling plates (with colling & heating function). Cooling plates for insects with a wider range of set temperatures thus allow the determination of species-specific cooling temperatures or cycles that result in insect immobilization but not injury. Finally, sorting and manipulation tasks are more comfortable for the entomologist if the hands can rest next to the cooling plates holding the petri dishes containing the insects; chillers with low-positioned cooling plate designs are particularly ergonomic. Alternively, U-shaped tables or side panels can be custom-build at level to serve as hand rests.
Vienna Scientific offers a variety of Insect Cooling Plates / Cooling Tables for entomologists to sort or manipulate insects while immobilized - professional and affordable - to fit your insect cooling needs and budget. Contact us to discuss detailed chiller specifications.
Small Insect Chiller. Cools and heats (-20°C to 90°C & 120°C), Weighs less than 6 kg. Operating ambient temperature range of 0 °C to 50 °C. ~ 25 x 11 cm bench footprint, 13.3 cm hight. Cold plate size: 114 mm x 152 mm (small). Ventilation of warm air to both sides.
Medium Insect Chill Plate. Cools and heats (-20°C to 90°C & 120°C), Weighs less than 14 kg. Operating ambient temperature range of 0 °C to 50 °C. ~ 30 x 38.5 cm bench footprint, 15 cm hight. Cold plate size: 147 mm x 338 mm (medium). Ventilation of warm air to both sides of instrument.
Medium Insect Chill Plate - Ergonomic. Cools and heats (-5°C to 50°C at 25°C ambient), Weighs less than 6.4 kg. Operating ambient temperature range of 0-50°C. ~ 39 x 37 cm bench footprint, cold plate positioned only 7.4 cm above bench (stepped design, with colling unit in the back) supporting a most ergonomic sorting / manipulation process. Cold plate size: 147 mm x 338 mm (medium). Dissipation of warm air to back of instrument.
Large Insect Chill Table. Cools and heats (-20°C to 90°C), Weighs ~23 kg. Operating ambient temperature range of 0 °C to 50 °C. ~ 39 x 49 cm bench footprint, 15 cm hight. Cold plate size: 325 mm x 338 mm (large). Ventilation of warm air to both sides.
Various accessories available: Additional aluminum or borosilicate plates to cover/extend the cold plate; external temperature sensor; air deflectors (venting to the rear from side vents); clear PMMA covers/lids with/without hinges; insect cages with/without insulation, enclosing the entire instrument or the cold plate. Custom hand rests, enclosing U-shaped tables (PP or metal). Please contact us for details.
Medium Insect Chiller - Economic. Cools (-15°C to -2°C, at ~25°C ambient). Weight ~20 kg. ~54 x 33 cm bench footprint, cold plate positioned ~8 cm above bench (stepped design, with cooling unit in the back) supporting an ergonomic insect sorting / manipulation process. Cold plate size: 270 mm x 250 mm (medium square). 110-240 VAC. Robust plastic housing, aluminum chill plate. Temperature control unit.
Customized accessories: Hand rest / enclosing tables (PP or metal, on legs; sides and/or U-shaped). Please contact us for details.
Upon request, we can design custom passive water-cooled chillers (connected to benchtop laboratory coolers). Since these products do not use fans, they are ideal for applications where vibration is not allowed. In addition, the use of external cooling devices allows for very low profile (4-5 cm) bench top designs with ergonomic benefits when used extensively. Both water-cooled only (laboratory coolers; with temperatures set by the cooler's thermostat) and/or 24 V DC systems with additional Pelltier elements (e.g. for field station use together with untempered tap or rain water for heat dissipation) can be realized. Custom water cooling stages can be of various sizes and consist of a stainless steel plate with milled cooling coils, 2 connections for water inlet and outlet and a bottom insulation layer (towards the bench/table). Custom cooling tables can include hand rests.
On request, we also offer to develop suitable insect manipulation cages for the above mentioned commercial and custom insect cooling plates, either housing the entire instrument or being placed around the edges of the cooling plate - preventing unwanted insect escape and/or allowing to cool down insects directly on the cold table. In addition, we can build insulating, removable covers (e.g. transparent PMMA front doors, insulated sides and tops), to house cooling plate-sized cages - allowing for a faster cooldown and to establish more homogeneous temperature conditions within the "insect cooling cage".
Please contact us to discuss your custom-made insect chill table needs.
Plexiglas housings or special photo boxes on top of the insect cooling plates allow to develop a versatile tool for insect macrophotography - with openings for camera insertion either at the top or at the front to take pictures of stationary "chilled" insects. To prevent condensation from fogging the lenses, either a recirculating air system with desiccant or a small fan can be provided inside / outside the chamber. Please contact us if you are interested in developing such a specialized insect imaging cooling chamber for the advancement of ex situ macro photography of insects.