B Medical Systems Enhances Sample Viability with Cryopreservation Methods and Ultra-Low Temperature Freezers

Published July 3, 2024

Cryopreservation is one of the most crucial biological techniques in science. It includes cooling cells, tissues, or any other constructs of a biological entity at extremely low temperatures to halt all biological activities, hence storing them.

The Ultra low temperature freezer, though, one might say, is a vital role in keeping set temperatures to ensure the lifespan and viability of stored samples. This article explores ultra-low temperature freezers, various cryopreservation techniques, the role of a ULT freezer, and, most importantly, how this type of freezer, often known as the deep laboratory freezer, can enhance sample viability.

Understanding Cryopreservation

Cryopreservation, in general, is the process by which biological materials are conserved at temperatures below zero, usually within the range of -80°C to -196°C. These temperatures essentially stall metabolic and chemical processes to be on standby or considerably slowed down, respectively, hence permitting long-term storage of biological samples without degradation.

Main Cryopreservation Methods:

1. Controlled-Rate Freezing: Gradual temperature reduction allows ice crystals to form without damaging the cell structures. Yes, you guessed it—controlled-rate freezers are frequently used for this application.

2. Vitrification: Vitrification is a process by which something is converted into an amorphous solid, glass-like, with no structural implantation of crystalline entities. The approach used here is a fast cooling method hindering ice crystal formation within the process. It is used to preserve embryos, oocytes, and other such soft tissues.

3. Slow Freezing: In slow freezing, a process is triggered by cooling slowly, typically at an average rate of 1°C per minute until it reaches a specific critical temperature. It has been used much less frequently compared to vitrification in several applications.

4. Cryoprotectants: Cryoprotective agents are substances used to protect biological tissues from freezing damage. General cryoprotectants are glycerol, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), and ethylene glycol—these function by preventing the formation of ice crystals inside the cell.

The Role of Ultra Low Temperature Freezers in Cryopreservation

Ultra-low temperature freezers, also known as deep freezers for laboratories, are the core to maintaining viability in cryopreserved samples. These freezers operate at temperatures ranging from -50°C to -86°C, churning out a very stable environment critical for long-term storage.

Key Features: Ultra Low Temperature Freezers

1. Temperature Stability: The design of ULT freezers ensures that the temperature is constant for the samples hence no fluctuations are there to affect the desired temperature of the sample under study. Such stability is critical in avoiding thawing-refreezing events that threaten sample integrity.

2. Energy Efficiency: Modern ULT freezers are built with energy-efficient compressors and insulating materials that consequently reduce the operational costs of the freezer and lower its environmental impact on the laboratory.

3. Advanced Monitoring Systems: Most ULT freezers have advanced inbuilt monitoring systems that give real-time temperatures and other relevant parameters. The advanced alert and alarm system updates the laboratory personnel with variations from the set conditions to alert them on time before the situation gets out of hand.

4. High Storage Capacity: Available in different sizes and designs, these freezers give enough storage space for a considerably higher number of samples. This is particularly important in biobanking and research facilities where space is premium.

5. User-Friendly Interfaces: With the current interfaces, ULT freezers will make it easy for users to set and monitor the temperature conditions. This then makes the user experience very friendly and hence leads to practical usage of freezers.

Improving Sample Viability Using ULT Freezers

The most critical intended purpose of cryopreservation is to keep the viability and functioning of biological samples over extended periods. ULT freezers are very pivotal in making this work, and some of the mechanisms are as follows:

1. Preventing the Formation of Ice Crystals: The temperature stability is in ultra-low freezers, so the formation of any ice crystal in cells does not occur. Even if the ice crystal does form, it only succeeds in causing some kind of mechanical injury to the structures within cells and thus may affect the viability. By consistently providing low temperatures, biological samples can maintain their integrity.

2. Reduction of Metabolic Activity: Even at less than cryogenic temperatures, a bit of metabolic activity could initiate the process of degradation of biological samples. However, ULT freezers bring down these processes to almost nil, ensuring that specialized samples can be preserved for years or even decades. 3. Protection from Contaminants: ULT freezers provide a controlled environment that protects samples from external contaminants. This is particularly important in preserving the sterility of cell cultures and other sensitive biological materials.

4. Longitudinal Studies: Many types of research projects may require biological samples to be kept for an extended period for use in future analysis. ULT freezers can house the sample storage for long-term purposes, enabling longitudinal studies and retrospective analysis.

5. Reproducibility: Scientific experiments should be reproducible. ULT freezers provide storage for samples under uniform conditions, which assure a scientist that their experiment can be repeated.

Application of ULT Freezers in Laboratories

Deep freezers are one of the basic needs in multiple scientific disciplines and applications:

1. Biobanking: a biobank is a repository for numerous types of biological samples, including, but not limited to, tissues, blood, DNA, and RNA. ULT freezers are used to store such samples at ultra-low temperatures to ensure their availability for future studies and clinical use.

2. Pharmaceutical Research: Biological samples, such as proteins, antibodies, and cell lines, can be pretty unstable, which is essential for potential drug development. ULT freezers provide such an environment to maintain these samples at all stages of research.

3. Clinical Laboratories: These are laboratories that store samples obtained from patients like serum, plasma, and biopsies for purposes of diagnosis and treatment. The ULT freezers guarantee to preserve these samples for viability in testing and analysis.

4. Academic Research: Universities, with the help of research institutions, store a wide range of biological materials using ULT freezers for different research purposes. The freezers facilitate the continuation and repeatability of academic research.

5. Agricultural Research: Plant seeds, tissues, and microorganisms are indispensable in agricultural science for the success of breeding programs and genetic studies. ULT freezers provide stable conditions conducive to long-term storage.

Best Practices for Using ULT Freezers

The best practices that need to be followed in handling and maintaining the deep freezers in the laboratory to get the maximum output are as follows:

1. Routine Maintenance: Regular cleaning and defrosting are necessary to achieve maximum performance of ULT freezers. Additionally, the compressor, seals, and temperature settings must be checked regularly.

2. Proper Sample Labeling: Sample labels should be clear and representative of the actual sample to facilitate easy identification and retrieval of a sample to reduce the time taken when the freezer door is left wide open, hence minimizing fluctuation in temperatures.

3. Temperature Monitoring: It will be monitored continuously using built-in or external monitoring systems. Any deviation from the set temperatures has to be corrected promptly.

4. Energy Management: Adequate ventilation and minimum door opening minimize running costs associated with using ULT freezers.

5. Emergency Preparedness: Laboratory contingency plans need to be in place for power outages or power failures, failure of equipment such as freezers, or alternative storage could be used instead or backup power supplied.

The ultra-low temperature freezer, known as the laboratory deep freezer, is an essential facility for cryopreservation. The integrity of the biological sample is kept intact and viable at very low controlled temperatures. As such, these freezers forestall ice-formation crystals, reduce metabolic activity, and protect samples from contaminants to increase material longevity and usability. High quality in use and maintenance shows best practices with ULT freezers to achieve the highest performance supporting important scientific and medical applications. Just like the advancement of technologies into the unseen future, ULT freezers will continue to store these building blocks of life.

Contact Info:
Name: Arijit Singhal
Email: info@bmedicalsystemsindia.com
Organization: B Medical Systems
Website: https://www.bmedicalsystems.com/

Release ID: 1058684

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