Cryogenic Cold Chain Management: Protecting Bio-Sample Temperatures Using Automation & Best Practices
Paper 3 of the Cryopreservation series
The implementation of an effective cryogenic cold chain ensures that all samples stay safely below their glass transition temperature (Tg H20 -135°C). Often underestimated though is how quickly samples warm when removed from a cryogenic environment. By knowing thermal excursion rates and understanding transient warming events, one can implement automation devices and best practices to ensure that all samples, including innocents, stay well below Tg at all times.
Commercial LN2 freezers available today can store samples at -190°C, but they have no built in protection or monitoring of the thousands of innocent samples that may be exposed during routine rack pulls for storage/removal operations. Additionally, keeping the samples always below Tg when outside of the LN2 freezer (i.e. around the lab) is also important and most commercially available LN2 carriers are large, cumbersome and do not have integrated temperature monitoring while homemade LN2 carriers are often unsafe.
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