The use of freeze dryers extends from applications in academic labs to zoos. Moreover, this technology contributes to basic research and manufacturing. For example, scientists at a zoo might use a freeze dryer to increase the concentration of a tranquilizer so that it works for larger animals such as bears or even elephants.
Top 5 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a Freeze Dryer
1. What solvents are you using? A temperature differential between the sample’s eutectic temperature and collector temperature of 15 – 20 degrees is required. If solvents such as acetonitrile are used, a cascade freeze dryer is required.
2. How much sample in liters will you run? When choosing a freeze dryer, vendors recommend loading 1/2 of the listed capacity. For example, a 6L freeze dryer will hold 3L during the run.
3. Do you want to freeze dry in flasks, tubes, or bulk? Many drying accessories are available. On a manifold or drying chamber, flasks can be placed on each port. Test tubes and serum vials can be placed inside of the flasks for multiple samples per container. If samples are bulk, a tray dryer would be a good choice.
4. Do you need to stopper under vacuum? Accessories such as the Triad or Stoppering Tray Dryer allow you to stopper under vacuum or nitrogen without using compressed gas.
5. Is this a shared freeze dryer? A hybrid pump is recommended to prevent damage to the pump.
Three Fast Facts on Freeze Dryers:
• In brief, the freeze-drying process, or lyophilization, dehydrates a sample to preserve it.
• Some of the first large-scale freeze-drying started in World War II. Getting enough plasma to Europe to treat soldiers who were injured in combat required extensive refrigeration. Often, a lack of resources prevented the plasma from staying frozen and some of it spoiled, which created a life-ordeath situation in field hospitals. To make it possible to ship the plasma at room temperature, the United States Army started freeze-drying the plasma.
• How a freeze dryer works depends in part on the solution being lyophilized. The solvent matters because freeze-drying requires the right collector temperature to ensure that the sample won’t melt back on the freeze dryer.
Recently Released Freeze Dryers
• Large capacity freezing system allows for speedy cooling
• Automatic hourly pressure variation check within unit measured by a Pirani vacuum gauge
• Powerful CFC-less compressor cools to a maximum of -85C
• Can freeze dry bulk product or be configured for applications in stoppered vials
• Side-mounted manifold valves provide the additional flexibility to freeze dry product in flasks
• Three refrigeration choices (-53°C, -70°C, or -85°C) are available for the large 6-litre capacity condenser
• Comes with a two-year refrigeration warranty and includes CE marking
• Include ice holding capacity for light to moderate loads and have dual refrigeration systems for samples with very low eutectic points
• Provide a compact benchtop design and include a 12-port drying chamber
• -105°C 4.5 liter systems remove over 4 liters of water in 24 hours
• Features trap cooling temperature of up to -45ºC
• Ice holding capacity is 1L/time
• Safety features include: automatic operation for vacuum pump, monitoring for vacuum degree and trap temperature, stop watch, selecting the setting for power recovery
• Includes sheet key type, digital display
Freeze Dryer Manufacturers
Like this article? Click here to subscribe to free newsletters from Lab Manager