DE-Header

Will -70oC protect your samples?

19.07.2017

This is the question the University of Edinburgh, VWR and Eppendorf set out to answer, with a project that will impact researchers and ULT freezer usage.

Ultra-Low Temperature (ULT) freezers are critical pieces of laboratory equipment, retaining decades of irreplaceable research, samples and costly reagents.  Laboratories can be energy consuming, typically using up to three times the energy of an office and ULT freezers are key energy consumers. Therefore it’s unsurprising that laboratories will look at saving energy by turning up their freezers from -80oC to -70oC. This ten degree difference can create on average 25% energy savings, but will -70oC temperatures protect the viability of your samples?

This is the question the University of Edinburgh, VWR and Eppendorf set out to answer, with a project that will impact researchers and ULT freezer usage. This five year study, the first of its kind, will be highlighting the long term effects of ULT freezer temperature on sample viability and energy consumption. The study incorporates a wide range of materials including viruses, cell lines, tissues, bodily fluids and yeasts, stored at -60oC, -70oC and -80oC temperatures. The key aim of the study is to monitor the viability of these common samples when stored at different temperatures, but it will also highlight how ULT freezer performance relates to:

> Unit age
> Ambient temperature
> Set point temperature/actual temperature
> Door recovery times


There are already some interesting results; unsurprisingly energy consumption is strongly related to set temperature, ambient temperature and the number of door openings. However, it is apparent that some of the sample groups do not maintain viability at -60oC, -70oC and sometimes even -80oC temperatures. Samples can be classified in four groups:
 

Sample TypeSurvival at -80oCSurvival at -70oCSurvival at -60oC
AYYY
BYYN
CYNN
DNNN


Researchers with type A samples can be confident that their samples would retain viability after long term storage. However researchers with type B and C samples will need to be very cautious, not only with their ULT freezer set point, but the actual unit temperature and recovery rate of their ULT freezer as well.

The study is currently in progress and complete details will be released in 2020. If you would like regular updates on this study, please e-mail us at sales@eppendorf.co.uk

Watch the related video and read full details of the study.

More information about Eppendorf freezers can be found at www.eppendorf.com/freezers