Sample Management Guide

Accurate sample storage and retrieval is critical for many labs. 

By Lab Manager

Accurate sample storage and retrieval is critical for many labs. Automated sample management tools range from benchtop tools such as automated decapping devices and barcoders to room-sized robotic storage and retrieval systems.

6 Questions to Ask When Buying a Sample Management System

  1. How easy is it to find samples using the software? Can the program be modified to incorporate other sample information?
  2. Will the instrument help address the sample storage concerns of your lab?
  3. What storage vessels (tubes, plates) are compatible with the system? Can it accommodate more than one type of storage vessel?
  4. What type of barcoding does the system use? Will the barcode be able to withstand physical and chemical changes and can it be read through frost and ice?
  5. Is the technology scalable? Can its capacity grow as your needs expand?
  6. How easy is it to find samples using the software? Can the program be modified to incorporate other sample information?

Safety Tip

Clear labeling of tubes and plates is important in any lab to keep track of precious samples. This practice is especially important if the samples you are storing are hazardous. Labeling should provide enough information so that your lab members know the correct precautions to take when handling the sample. This information can be difficult to convey with handwriting on tubes and the solution may be to incorporate barcoding into your sample management protocols.


Maintenance Tip

Never skip a maintenance appointment for your sample management instruments. Samples are precious and usually irreplaceable. Malfunction of sample management equipment could result in improper storage, sealing/capping, or labelling that may lead to the loss of your samples.

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Categories: Purchasing Guides

Published In

Automation Product Resource Guide Magazine Issue Cover
Automation Product Resource Guide

Published: December 1, 2018

Cover Story

Solutions for Laboratory Automation

Laboratory automation technologies offer the ability to extend a lab’s capacity while at the same time elevating experimental data quality and reproducibility.
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