SmartFreezer® - Automated Cryo Freezer for Safe Sample Handling

Cryogenic or cryo freezers are hailed as the gold standard for the long-term storage of biological samples. At cryogenic temperatures (-150°C to -190°C) all biological activity is suspended which prevents degradation.

Traditional cryogenic storage uses internal racking systems which house cryoboxes containing numerous sample vials. Vial retrieval from such storage systems is a manual process and may pose a risk to the samples and the operator.

Safe Sample Handling

Safe sample handling is essential to protect operators from the risk of suffocation and frostbite from exposure to liquid nitrogen. They will work with cryogenic vessels in a well-ventilated area and in full personal protective equipment (PPE). To retrieve a sample vial quickly and efficiently, the operator will need to have an idea of which rack contains the sample. The operator is then required to manually lift the heavy rack to access the appropriate cryobox containing the vial. All samples stored within the selected rack will be exposed to a heating event during this process of retrieving a single sample vial. The deleterious effects of freeze-thaw cycles on the integrity of biological samples over time is well known. Additionally, the operator is responsible for selecting the correct vial, which can lead to mix-ups.

Biological samples are of critical importance, it is imperative that samples are adequately labelled and stored appropriately. Additionally, samples should be stored in a reliable cryogenic system, protected from cross-contamination, deterioration and damage (accidental or intentional). Failure to meet these basic requirements could result in incalculable loss.

SmartFreezer ® Liquid Nitrogen Storage Solution

Such risks and inconvenience can be eliminated thanks to the fully automated SmartFreezer. The only fully automated cryo freezer on the market. The clever design of the SmartFreezer provides users with peace of mind as sample protection, operator safety, traceability and inventory management are combined into one device providing a convenient solution for Biorepositories, Biobanks and hospitals.

The SmartFreezer stores sample vials in liquid nitrogen (vapour phase) and the robotic gripper stores/retrieves sample vials in less than 20 seconds per vial. A pre-cooled thermal rack receives or delivers up to 8 sample vials in one batch. The sophisticated internal barcode reader makes vial identification effortless and correct every time.

The SmartFreezer is designed to hold a single type of vial. It is not possible to store vials of mixed volumes. However, the freezer design can be adapted on request to meet the customer’s needs. Options are available for 0.5 mL, 1.4 mL and 2.0 mL vials.

The cherry-picking concept ensures that only the required vials are selected- thereby protecting all other vials from heating events. The automated system ensures that the user is protected from liquid nitrogen and does not have to manually handle heavy racking systems.

The SmartFreezer has automatic filling of liquid nitrogen to protect the user and the temperature can be maintained for up to 48 hours without the supply of liquid nitrogen.

The system software is intuitive and operated by a touch screen interface which has different levels of user access and is password protected. Automatic sample tracking and full traceability comes as standard with this LIMS compatible and Medical Device certified cryogenic freezer.

For more information on the SmartFreezer or cryoboxes please contact our team who will be delighted to help.