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How to optimize cold storage in my lab and how to select a -80 °C freezer?
Sample storage is not limited to the ULT freezer. Storage goes beyond a freezer and vessels.
Did you ever calculate the value within your freezer? All the hours, days, weeks, and months spent on your samples? More than 50,000 samples fit into large, standard ULTs. The value of every single sample differs – from simple buffers to high-value cell extracts, expensive enzymes, or very rare sample material. Assuming an average value of 10 € per vial, the total value already reaches 500,000 euro or dollars.
Storage is not limited to being a storage room for samples. The freezer and related equipment is your assurance for long-term scientific success, it guards the results of your work.
The process of sample storage includes the right selection of vessels, a reliable labeling/ identification of your samples, robust freezer boxes and racks, a convenient sample management tool, the freezer itself, and freezer performance monitoring systems.
Still, the freezer is the core of your sample storage system:
Eppendorf offers different lines of -80 °C lab ULT freezers to meet a variety of needs. Depending on the approach, there are different questions to answer before you select your Ultra-Low-Temperature freezer, also known as ULT freezer to store your freezer boxes and your valuable samples:
• Which type of vessels are used in our lab?
• How many samples need to be stored?
• How can I improve our paper-based sample documentation system?
• Do I need to replace an old/ broken freezer, enlarge my storage capacities or is this my first freezer?
• Do I need an upright freezer or a chest freezer to store my freezer boxes?
• Which freezer footprint in the lab is sufficient and/or acceptable?
• Where can I install the freezer – in the lab, hallway, basement,…?
• Can I re-use existing freezer racks?
• Do I need green cooling liquids such as R290/R170?
• What is a back-up system?
• How can I receive notifications if something happens to my freezer?
Did you ever calculate the value of the contents of your freezer?
Eppendorf freezers are equipped with reliable heavy-duty compressors (2-stage cascade cooling system). Quick pull-down times enable fast re-use after cleaning/defrosting of the instrument. The freezers have short recovery times back to -80°C after opening to provide extra sample safety. Their temperature range is from -50°C to -86°C. For even higher sample safety, the Eppendorf freezers can be equipped with CO2/LN2 back-up systems and a chart recorder. Temperature monitor systems can be used to monitor the freezers remotely.
Do You Worry About Your Samples?
Despite all trends for energy saving, the goal of an ULT freezer should always be providing you a safe storage for your high-value samples. Did you ever calculate the value within your freezer? All the countless hours, days, weeks, months, and even years of work spent on your samples?
Sample identification needed?
Sorting samples in freezer boxes and freezer racks is the first level of improved storage efficiency. Correct and stable labeling is your next level: The SafeCode system provides prelabeled, barcoded vessels with 3-level coding in multiple formats to safeguard your samples and improve your processes.
Eppendorf DataPort provides all relevant vessel information for complete documentation such as certificates, lot number, drawings, and order number, all online.
Manage your barcoded samples with sample management software like eLABJournal.
Lost in samples? Stay organized!
Over many years, you collect hundreds and thousands of samples – samples that are the results of years of hard work – samples of high value. When storing these in the ULT freezer at -80°C, it is vital to keep them safe and accessible.
Many scientists still use spreadsheets or even paper-based lists to keep track of their storage. While these solutions may work most of the time, they are susceptible to human error, damage, and misplacement.
Keep track of your samples with eLABInventory
eLABInventory is a sample management software.
Start a free 30-day trial!