Does your lab have a cryo-preservation plan? Harvey and Irma should change that

Does your lab have a cryo-preservation plan? Harvey and Irma should change that

What would happen to your lab if your facility sustained a direct hit from a category four hurricane?

Assuming no structural damage or injury to personnel, wouldn't a sustained power outage essentially wipe out decades of your work?

It shouldn't take a catastrophic event to make researchers stop and pay attention to protecting their greatest investment, the samples stored in their cryo-freezers, but sadly it often does. 

What would you say is the total value of just one of your freezers? $30,000? $50,000? More? 

With this in mind, how much training and thought has gone into educating your lab personnel how to protect this investment? 

Based on our own experience, it seems the answer is: Not much at all. 

This past week I watched a lab manager and one of her PhDs remove several boxes from their liquid nitrogen canister and place them on the hallway floor while they picked through vial after vial in search of their target. All the while, people were walking by kicking up all sorts of dirt and potential contaminants.

Leave a door to a typical minus eighty freezer open for just a few minutes and it can take upwards of two hours to pull the temperature back down to -82 again. 

Yet how many times do we see lab personnel standing in front of their freezer like a hungry teenager looking for leftovers? 

We recently spoke with a lab that stores human samples and has already experienced freezer failure, yet despite this never thought to divide samples among their different collaborator locations!

In each instance, a little foresight, a little planning will go a long way to mitigating risk. 

1. Establish a protocol for proper handling of samples which includes a thorough review of how products and resources are being stored and organized. 

Most people do not realize there are over one thousand different kind of laboratory freezer racks that fit almost every size and shape container. 

A lab supplier with deep knowledge in this area, like Stellar Scientific, is an excellent resource. Using our lab configurator tools we can identify the best storage solutions for you and help you with coding systems that will cut down or eliminate search time.

2. Discuss with collaborators how samples can be divided among locations so that in the event of an unavoidable disaster, your work will be safe and able to proceed without interruption

3. Seriously consider spending more on a better quality cryo unit. Too many labs continue to run after the same old lab freezers that have failed them in the past and do not look to the latest technologies such as the incredible lab freezers from Z-SCI. 

Z-SCI freezers are the only cryo freezers equipped with a dual compressor system where each compressor can independently remain at -82. Additionally, they offer dozens of other safeguards that have earned them the title of the safest ULT freezer on the planet. 

Think about it - Does it really make sense to think cheap when it comes to protecting your legacy? 

Stellar Scientific is an authorized Z-SCI cryo freezer dealer. We are ready to help you think safe again.