MBY134 at sysh.surrey.ac.uk MBY134 at sysh.surrey.ac.uk
Wed Mar 7 09:59:12 EST 1990


There have been enquiries on the network concerning
hybridization ovens/chambers. One of the most popular products
for hybridization is the HYBAID (Teddington, Middlesex, UK)
Hybridization Oven. This is a thermostatically controlled oven
in which bottles containing filter hybridizations are placed
on a rotating drum. We have been using this apparatus since
April, 1989 and in the main, found it a great improvement on
either bags or chambers. However, a problem occurred with the
bottles that were originally supplied, that I feel users
should be aware of.

After about three months of almost continuous use we started
having leaks of 32P-labelled hybridization solution, during
hybridizations. When a leak occurred, the inner walls of the
oven were heavily contaminated, suggesting that when the leak
occurred the solution was sprayed from the bottle around the
inside of the oven. This meant that the whole oven had to be
decontaminated, involving significant exposure to the person
involved. However, a potentially more serious incident
occurred when we then set out to test the oven using cold
solutions. Whilst the oven door was opened for a few minutes,
presumably allowing the temperature of oven and bottles to
drop, one of the (12) bottles being tested, began to leak.
Although the leak we witnessed was a steady drip rather than a
spray of solution, it does not take much to imagine what might
happen if a spray-type leak occurred whilst someone was
handling the bottles.

When we informed HYBAID they eventually supplied us with
replacement bottles that were said to be superior. We have
been using these for 4 months now (with bags around cap to
catch any leaks) and have had no problem. However, HYBAID
inform me that they have not withdrawn the earlier bottles,
but are replacing them as complaints arise. We have heard that
we are not the only people who have experienced problems with
the old bottles (although no-one, to my knowledge has had any
problems with new bottles).

The old (leaky) bottles which we supplied to us had no
markings on the bottle itself but had a SCHOTT cap. The new
(so far OK) bottles have HYBAID inscribed both on the bottle
and the cap.

However, I emphasize that it is our opinion that the apparatus
with the new type of bottles, which do not (so far) leak, are
a considerable improvement on bags or chambers that we have
used; both with regard to ease of use but more importantly, in
reducing radio-isotope handling and subsequent exposure.

Johnjoe McFadden
Department of Microbiology
University of Surrey

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