Working with Whitley Workstations


Don Whitley Scientific has always strived to be the most innovative manufacturer of scientific equipment. Our leading range of workstations provides some of the most sophisticated options to the microbiology and cell culture industries.

One of the more specific markets Don Whitley Scientific provides for is those wanting to carry out experiments under hypoxic conditions. Researchers may only have the use of an incubator to keep specimens in hypoxic conditions, however this can cause problems when the conditions of the incubator become interrupted, usually when the incubator door is opened to add or remove samples and equipment.

When incubators just won’t do

In a testimonial for Don Whitley Scientific, Brad Wouters from Toronto, Canada shared this issue: “An incubator just isn’t suitable for that because whenever the door is opened, the oxygen concentration changes dramatically and the cells will go through waves of deoxygenation and oxygenation.” An issue like this could then lead to inaccurate results and potentially jeopardise experiments. This is why the Whitley Hypoxystation is ideal for these situations.

Working in a Whitley Workstation

Professor Mann states in his testimonial, “The design of this workstation has also allowed us to use other essential equipment inside the chamber, such as oxygen meters and micromanipulators”. As opposed to an incubator where samples are placed and perhaps left for days without interaction, Whitley Workstations are designed specifically for scientists wanting to carry out tasks inside the workstation.  Optional features on Whitley Workstations allow them to be tailored perfectly to those who want to conduct experiments in their workstation using additional specialised equipment, for example, the removable front option.

Australian testimonial

Maintaining an outstanding international reputation, Don Whitley Scientific exports its range of products to all corners of the globe. In Australia, at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, the aim is “to reduce the incidence, severity and impact of heart diseases” and for Dr Dunn and her team, precise control of oxygen, carbon dioxide, temperature and humidity is vital. She mentions in her testimonial that with a H35 Hypoxystation she achieves “very accurate and reproducible results”. As well as providing fantastic equipment, Don Whitley Scientific ensures that the advice and service we provide to customers is of a high level, which is also noticed by Dr Dunn, who states, “Don Whitley Scientific made great efforts to ensure our purchase, installation and ongoing use of the machine has been hassle free.”


Dr Dunn stood next to her H35 Hypoxystation
Dr Dunn with her H35 Hypoxystation


Testimonials wanted

If you are working with any equipment from Don Whitley Scientific and would like to let us know about your work and your overall experience with our products, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via our contact form, Facebook or Twitter. We now feature a variety of customer testimonials on our product pages and these can be accessed through the “testimonials” tab (if we have a testimonial for that product).

Click here for Brad Wouters’ testimonial in full

Click here for Professor Mann’s testimonial in full

Click here for Dr Dunn’s testimonial in full

Expanding UKAS Calibration

More and more customers took advantage of our UKAS accredited temperature calibration work in 2014, particularly those customers working to the new clinical standard ISO15189:2012. Don Whitley Scientific has therefore invested in extra calibration equipment so that our team of service engineers hold all the relevant instrumentation to be able to carry out specific calibrations whilst on site. These are typically carried out at the same time as the service, which minimises disruption to the laboratory and therefore improves efficiency for all involved.

The investment in equipment during 2014 included a ‘high-end’ precision digital thermometer for our permanent laboratory, hand-held digital thermometers and precision stopwatches for our engineers.

Further investment in equipment will continue this year to ensure that we always have the correct instrumentation to meet our customers’ needs.


Anaerobes. Where to Start?

Introduction to Clinical Anaerobic Bacteriology
Introduction to Clinical Anaerobic Bacteriology

To a newcomer, the field of anaerobic research can seem intimidatingly vast. With so many varieties of anaerobes, and differing means of culturing them, you may find yourself wondering whether the method you are using is really the most efficient and cost-effective.

The first thing you need to consider is the type of anaerobe you are cultivating, whilst aerotolerant organisms and facultative anaerobes will not be harmed by a small amount of oxygen, obligate anaerobes require a completely oxygen-free environment.

We have recently produced a useful reference guide: An Introduction to Clinical Anaerobic Bacteriology which enables the reader to isolate and identify 12 commonly occurring and clinically important anaerobic bacteria.


Did You Know: about Quality Counts?

Whitley Automated Spiral Plater (WASP)

When you purchase a WASP (Whitley Automated Spiral Plater), you have the option to join our Quality Counts scheme. Free of charge for the first 12 months, this programme provides valuable assurance that your WASP is functioning correctly and that samples are being analysed accurately.

Subscribers to the scheme will receive a sample on a monthly basis. Each customer simply spiral plates the sample and then sends the result back to our laboratory. Don Whitley Scientific will then collate the results and advise as to whether or not you are within specification. Should your results fall outside acceptable limits, we will offer advice, training or service facilities as appropriate.

If you choose to continue your subscription after the first year, discounts are available for organisations wishing to cover more than one WASP with the scheme.

Please contact us for more information.

Please note: This scheme is only available to customers in the UK and Eire.


Did you know: How best to clean your workstation?

Laboratory Standard Shot DYK Blog



This is the 10th in our ‘Did you know’ series of articles introducing things you may not know about the Whitley range of products and services – read on and you may find out something about your workstation that could make your working life easier.

We regularly receive enquiries from customers with regard to which disinfectants can be safely used inside Whitley Workstations. Although it is not practicable to evaluate every available product, we have tested the materials compatibility of several sporicidal disinfectants and can now provide comprehensive advice on this topic.



How often should I clean my workstation?

DWS recommend that as part of the daily checks, users ensure that the workstation is free from spillage and cleaning carried out as necessary. Prior to having your workstation serviced, however, it may be necessary for it to be decontaminated.

Which disinfectants have DWS tested?

  • Spor-Klenz – peracetic acid (approx 0.1%) + hydrogen peroxide (approx 1.0%) – “ready to use” product, tested without further dilution.
  • Chemgene HLD4H – quaternary ammonium compounds (approx 1%) + chlorhexidine digluconate (approx 1%) – “ready to use” product, tested without further dilution.
  • Safe Hospital – hypochlorous acid – “ready to use” product, tested without further dilution.
  • Tristel Fuse – chlorine dioxide (approx 1%) – prepared from concentrated components according to manufacturer’s instructions.

For more information on these tests, please see the appendices of your Whitley Workstation user manual.


Which of the above products are OK for use in a Whitley Workstation?

Our tests demonstrated that each of these formulations is satisfactory for use in Whitley Workstations and will not cause any damage when used in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.


What if I want to use a cleaning agent not on the above list?

Other disinfectants containing the active ingredients listed above, at similar concentrations to those shown, can also be safely used inside Whitley Workstations. If you wish to use a disinfectant containing active ingredients not listed here, please contact us for advice before proceeding.


Why should I contact DWS for advice – will any damage not be covered under my warranty?

Unfortunately, we cannot cover under the equipment’s warranty any damage caused to a Whitley Workstation as a result of exposure to products that have not been approved by us.


Can I use Virkon as my preferred sanitising solution?

After a thorough study lasting 20 weeks, we concluded that the presence of any uncovered containers of Virkon in anaerobic and variable atmosphere workstations leads to the degradation of stainless steel, brass and some other metal components. The effect is more considerable when oxygen is present in the selected gas mixture. These conclusions are supported by technical information available on the Virkon manufacturer’s website and independent observations by an Institute of Materials metallurgist. If Virkon is the preferred sanitising solution these adverse effects can be minimised by ensuring that Virkon within any workstation is always kept in a covered vessel when not in use.


OK, so what’s the best way to clean the acrylic parts of a Whitley Workstation?Labdet100 Blog

The transparent and/or white acrylic on the inside and outside of the Whitley Workstation System may be swabbed with a 2% solution of Labdet 100 (DWS – stock code D00003) in warm water and dried afterwards with a soft clean cloth. In the case of culture spillages then any of the disinfectants listed above solution should be applied to the spillage and left for 30 minutes. It should then be mopped.


Never use any solvent on the acrylic surfaces of the workstation. Use only water and a mild detergent solution (i.e. Labdet 100 2% solution) as a cleaning agent.


What if the spillage leaks underneath the floor of the workstation?

If spillage is not contained on the working surface then access underneath this area will be required in all Whitley Workstations except the DG250. Some workstations require the removal of retaining bolts before the floor can be lifted up or pivoted for cleaning underneath.

If liquid has been spilled upon the Anotox and catalyst sachets they should be removed, dried and/or replaced.


How can I deal with scratches on the acrylic plastic surface of my workstation?

Scratches may be removed by gently polishing the surface with ‘DURAGLIT WADDING’ followed by wiping with a soft clean cloth. Deep scratches may require the use of Wet and Dry abrasive paper used wet, followed by polishing with ‘DURAGLIT’ – seek advice from Don Whitley Scientific Limited or our authorised agents overseas.


How can I clean the sleeves on my workstation?Sleeve Kit-Components DYK Blog

The white sleeves used on all Whitley Workstations may require cleaning after periods of extended use. There are a number of options for cleaning and some recommendations listed below:

  • Wipe with a mild detergent
  • Wash or dry-clean with a detergent up to 75ºC
  • For disinfection use Sodium Hypochlorite (at no more than 1000ppm active Chlorine) or any of the disinfectants listed above
  • Do not use Biological or Phenolic based cleaners
  • Wash and dry completely before storage
  • Some surface wrinkling may occur.


If you have any remaining concerns about disinfectants for use in Whitley Workstations, please get in touch with our sales team:

Tel: 01274 595728




Great North Run Success

Steve Hughes

DWS Service Engineer, Steve Hughes, improved his personal best at this year’s Great North Run (his fifith) completing it in 1 hour 54 minutes 22 seconds. He also managed to raise £370 for leukaemia and lymphoma research and wishes to thank everyone for their donations.

Steve commented: “I chose leukaemia this year as my wife lost her brother to the disease when they were only young – I think he was 4 when he died.”

If you haven’t yet made a donation but would like to, the webpage remains open until December at: