What is the IVC AMU Mk5 ?
IVC stands for individually ventilated cage. It is an arrangement of plastic cages in a supporting rack where air is supplied and exhausted independently to each cage via manifolds. The IVC requires an air management unit to supply and exhaust this air in a controlled and instrumented fashion and this is the part of the system that QAT supply which is exclusive to Arrowmight.
The AMU is fully automatic and can supply IVC's of differing sizes and cages of differing volumes.
The Mk 5 AMU is an uprated version of the Mk 4 with approximately 50% more cage capacity with current IVC systems and potentially 100% with future IVC systems.
The IVC is used for under-taking biotechnology experiments. Depending on the nature of the experiment, either product or operator protection may be optimised by running in a positive or negative pressure mode. Positive would for example be used with an SPF (sterile pathogen free) experiment; whist negative pressure would for example be used with pathogenic infected subjects.
In both cases, the isolated cage design means that no cross-contamination can occur. The Mk 5 is best suited to larger cage volumes or cage numbers
How does it work?
The AMU has two fans configured in a 100% push-pull arrangement. This allows independent control of pressure and air change rate and also for the pressure to be controlled at positive or negative relative to the lab.
Sensors connected to a cell in the AMU give signals to digital displays on the front control panel showing air change rate and cage pressure. Running is fully automatic and there is a battery standby system in case of mains power failure.
The Mk 5 has additional acoustic measures to reduce noise emissions whilst running at higher duty levels.
The AMU has several advantages over other current systems. The most important one is that the complete system including the fans is low voltage (24 VDC). This means batteries can easily be used for standby running. It also means that the fans system is extremely efficient (about 50W), quiet, and with virtually no vibration. Other advantages include automatic running at positive or negative pressures, user selectable air change rates and a room BMS connection.
The AMU also connects to the Worlds only fully isolated IVC capable of running up to containment level 4 (Class 4), and in daily use at Class 3 at several sites. The advantage of the Mk 5 over the Mk 4 is increased capacity.
- Increased capacity
- Low voltage - batteries can be used for standby running
- Extremely efficient and quiet
- Automatic running at both positive and negative pressures