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Biological sample storage is essential for several industries including pharmaceuticals, healthcare, research and forensics. Correct sample storage ensures the viability of samples by slowing or stopping degradation of biological materials so that they can be used or investigated for some time after collection, without compromising the sample integrity.
How to Store Biological Samples
Ultra-low temperature (ULT) freezers provide the necessary conditions for preserving biological specimens.
Storing biospecimens at -80 °C preserves the sample by slowing or stopping natural functions. The optimal storage conditions depend on the type of tissue sample, for example proteins can be stored for only six years at -80 °C but adrenal tissue can be stored for up to 27 years.
To prepare samples for ULT storage, they must be frozen, either in a blast freezer or with liquid nitrogen. When the sample is ready to be used, it should be warmed quickly, for example in a water bath.
It is important to note that the number of freeze-thaw cycles a sample undergoes can affect its quality. If a number of experiments will be carried out on a sample at different times, it may be pertinent to aliquot the sample before freezing.
A sample aliquoted for efficiently biological specimen storage.
Biological Sample Storage: Industry Applications
There are many industries that make use of ULT Freezers for biological sample storage. Outlined below are some examples of industries that use ULT freezers for preserving biological specimens.
Biobanks: Biobanks, or biorepositories, are used for biological sample storage and preserving biological specimens. Biospecimens are collected and stored for future research. The types of samples stored include human tissues for DNA analysis. These samples can be used for future research to investigate how DNA can affect human health. ULT freezers provide a suitable option for medium-long term DNA preservation so that samples can be stored and studied over time.
Pharmaceutical research: Biological sample storage for healthcare research has become very important. Long term storage of various human samples is key for investigating and researching diseases and treatments, such as personalised medicine based on a person’s genetics.
In recent years, ULT freezers have also become popular for vaccine storage. Storage of pharmaceuticals at such low temperatures ensure the active ingredients remain potent by slowing their degradation. ULT Freezers can be used for the storage of other medicines to increase their lifespan compared to storage at higher temperatures.
Hospitals: ULT freezers are used for the storage of biological substances such as blood plasma, stem cells and bone marrow. These can be used for treatment of patients, diagnosis of patients or for investigating diseases and further research.
Forensics: Biological evidence collection and preservation is very important for criminal investigations. Evidence collected at crime scenes will sometimes be stored for a long time before a trial is held. Evidence that must be kept for possible future investigations must be stored so that degradation is kept to a minimum to ensure the most accurate analysis can be carried out at any time.
Biobase’s Ultra Low Temperature Freezers for Preserving Biological Samples
Biobase’s ULT freezers are ideal for the medium to long term storage of biological samples.
Biobase's range of ULT freezers for preserving biological specimens.
Our freezers have been designed with user and industry needs in mind to provide you with ultra-low temperature storage solutions perfect for your situation. Our freezers come in three sizes and have a range of racking options to allow you to maximise storage space within the freezer. These can be customized to meet your specific needs and include drawers, sliding racks and baskets. You can read more about our freezer racking solutions here.
Optional drawers and racks to optimise biological sample storage.
When considering biological sample storage, the safety and security of the samples is paramount. Our freezers are fitted with secure doors that lock and the option to add additional security measures. It is vital that freezers for biological sample storage maintain a steady temperature to minimise the risk of sample degradation. Our freezers are equipped with alarms to warn of any temperature fluctuations or failures.
With energy efficiency being a priority for many users, Biobase freezers are also equipped with ‘Eco Mode’, improving the energy efficiency of your lab saving both money and energy by minimising power consumption. Learn more about Eco Mode here.
If you would like to find out more about our range of ULT Freezers and how they can be used for your biological sample storage, contact our sales team today to discuss your needs.