Cryogenic Process and Cryo Storage Solutions from Froilabo

The cryogenic process is a method of freezing and storing samples that involves cooling the temperature of biological materials to stop normal cellular processes and prevent sample degradation for long-term storage. The cryogenic process and cryo storage are ideal solutions for the storage of biological samples and ensuring cell viability over time.

Storing a sample under cryogenic conditions requires careful preparation to minimise damage to the sample. Considerations must be taken when deciding how to prepare a sample, the freezing method to be used and storage type.

When a sample is required to be thawed, there are also certain methods required to ensure cell viability of the sample as its temperature is increased.

Cryogenic process for long term sample storage

Cryogenic Process: Sample Preparation

When preparing samples for cryogenic storage, the first step is to isolate the sample required for preservation. The volume, pH, density and degree of sample damage must be taken into account when deciding which samples can be cryogenically frozen and stored.

To help reduce the freezing point of samples and slow the cooling rate of materials, cryoprotectant agents (CPA) can be added to the sample.

Cryogenic Freezing

There are different methods for freezing samples for cryo storage and the most suitable is usually dependent on the sample type and how long it will be stored for.

Slow freezing involves adding CPAs to the sample and then controlling the rate of freezing. Slow freezing is a simpler method of cryogenic cooling, but it can lead to sample damage due to ice formation.

Vitrification involves adding a high concentration of CPA and then freezing the sample rapidly, usually using liquid nitrogen. Vitrification is a more complex method of freezing samples but there is a lower risk of sample degradation as there is less risk of ice formation in the sample, increasing cell viability.

Liquid nitrogen can be hazardous to handle and store, but Froilabo offer a range of liquid nitrogen storage Dewars with a range of accessories including roller bases, withdrawal devices and transfer lines for safe and efficient handling of liquid nitrogen.

Cryo Storage Methods

For samples that require long term storage, a cryogenic tank is the ideal solution for keeping samples at cryogenic temperatures. Froilabo have a range of stainless steel and aluminium cryogenic storage tanks of different sizes that allow vapour or liquid storage, depending on your cryo storage requirements.

Cryo storage tanks

One common problem with cryogenic storage tanks is the ability to perform easy and rapid sample retrieval. The whole unit must be opened which can increase the temperature of all of the samples, and the time taken to find the desired sample can further risk the integrity of the samples.

The SmartFreezer Evo® from Froilabo is a fully automated cryogenic freezer for the storage and retrieval of biological samples. With storage for up to 19000 samples, a retrieval arm will pick the selected samples without the need for the user to open the storage chamber, reducing the risk of temperature fluctuations, sample contamination and handling liquid nitrogen.

SmartFreezer Evo for Cryo Storage during the cryogenic process

Cryogenic Sample Shipping and Handling

It is sometimes necessary to transport cryogenic samples. Froilabo offer a range of Vapour Shipping Vessels designed specifically for the safe shipping of biological samples. Complying with IATA regulations, the vessels are made of lightweight aluminum to increase their portability and keep transport costs low. There are a range of vessels available for the transportation of vials, straws and blood bags so you can choose the products most suitable for your needs.

For safe  handling, Froilabo also offer a range of gloves of different lengths and wrist sizes, and aprons to protect users and prevent injury from the extreme cold.

Thawing after Cryo Storage

When samples are ready to be used after cryo storage, they must be carefully thawed. Samples should be slowly warmed to try and prevent sample damage from ice crystals rupturing. Heated water baths, such as the Thermostatic Water Bath from Froilabo provide an excellent means for thawing cryogenically frozen samples.

Waterbath for thawing after cryo storage

For preparing, storing and thawing samples that have been under cold storage conditions for a long time, Froilabo have solutions for each stage of the journey. From liquid nitrogen storage vessels, cryogenic storage tanks and freezers for medium-long term storage and heated water baths for safely thawing samples all to ensure cell viability.

If you would like more information about our products for sample preparation, freezing and cryo storage, please contact our sales team who will be happy to help you.


Further Reading

What is Cryogenic Storage

Cryopreservation Process and Storage Solutions Explored

SmartFreezer – Automated Cryo Freezer for Safe Sample Handling