Problem: One of the most overlooked challenges in basic and clinical science as well as diagnostics is the preparation of samples before the analysis occurs. A common means for keeping samples cold is to insert the sample tubes directly into crushed or flaked ice. As the ice melts, sample tubes are vulnerable to being misidentified, lost and contaminated. The changing and confusing visual pattern also significantly slows the work process. Furthermore, the likelihood of slippage errors and sample loss imposed by the need to retrieve individual tubes for access is magnified when the tubes are wet.
Solution: BioCision’s CoolRacks consist of arrays of receiver cavities for tubes rendered in a highly thermo-conductive material. When in contact with ice or any thermal sink (i.e. dry ice, LN2, waterbath, heat block) the CoolRack will quickly adapt to the sink temperature. The thermo-adaptive cavities allow placement of individual tubes resulting in a visually consistent array pattern that makes each tube easy to immediately identify and track (Figure 1).
The CoolRack presents a stable base for opening and closing tubes when adding or removing contents. Redesigns of sample tube caps are also now emerging on the market to take advantage of CoolRack design and benefits (Ergotubes by Biohit, for example).
The dry environment greatly reduces the opportunity for sample contamination and label degradation. Samples in CoolRack may be cooled, frozen or thawed in a highly reproducible manner. The temperature control as well as the thawing and freezing curves will be identical independent of user, time, site or location (Figure 2).
When paired with an ice-free cold source and insulation, such as provided by a CoolBox, the CoolRack offers a portable, temperature-controlled management system that is able to hold a large number of samples. This configuration also allows for sample handling in critical environments such as sterile hoods, cleanrooms, GMP facilities, surgeries and clinical settings, and provides an excellent solution for a modern and contamination- free laboratory.
In summary, a closer examination of the direct ice, dry ice, LN2 insertion method reveals that there are numerous limitations and pitfalls, all of which can be eliminated by the simple inclusion of highly thermoconductive CoolRacks into sample processing and handling. Quality controlled, precision engineered CoolRacks guarantee that each biomedical sample is cooled, frozen or thawed the same way independent of time, operator or location.
For more information, visit www.biocision.com
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