5 ways to mitigate biological sample integrity loss

27/03/2024

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Biological research hinges on the collection and preservation of often precious samples for future analysis. Preserving sample integrity over time is crucial to avoiding degradation. Loss of integrity can lead to data loss or unreliable results, potentially jeopardizing research outcomes and incurring significant costs. 

Implementing robust and reliable sample management practices is key to giving you security in the integrity of your sample library and preventing costly disasters. arktic Fview drawer closed SPT-1

arktic® is our dedicated biological sample storage and retrieval solution, providing flexible and secure sample management at -80°C. It replaces inefficient manual searching with a user-friendly, automated vending machine-style design, using 2D barcode tracking to ensure you can quickly locate any sample from your library at any time. With high-density rack-less storage and a compact footprint, arktic instils confidence in your sample management while minimizing overheads and maximizing return on investment.

How does arktic assure sample integrity? 

1. Minimize harmful freeze/thaw cycles 

Freeze/thaw cycles can be detrimental to biological samples, ultimately leading to degradation. With arktic, the ability to cherry pick samples whilst protecting the rest of your library from ambient conditions removes the risk of unnecessary thawing effects. Select samples are picked and held securely at -80°C until the very moment you need them. 

Unlike other automated solutions that employ rack-based storage, arktic holds individual samples in a honeycomb-style library. Not only does this provide incredibly high-density storage to maximize the use of your lab space, but it importantly ensures consistent freeze profiles, eliminating variations observed in traditional rack-based storage methods. 

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2. Secondary refrigeration

arktic features a fail-safe back-up system, ensuring that storage conditions remain stable in the unlikely event that the primary unit may fault. This provides an extra level of security without requiring any complex infrastructure changes.

3. Superior insulation 

Of course, sometimes emergencies can happen that are completely out of your control. arktic’s state-of-the-art insulation guarantees sample security in the event of total power failure, while also minimizing day-to-day running costs at the same time. The high-density storage of the honeycomb design also helps to keep the environment cold with less open air for temperature flux.

4. Pneumatic transport 

In arktic, all mechanical robotic elements are kept outside the cold environment. Instead, sample transport is operated using innovative pneumatic technology and flexible tubes to enable fast and reliable sample retrieval, even at -80°C. This approach not only maintains consistent temperature conditions, but also mitigates the risk of mechanical failure as traditional robotics struggle to operate effectively at -80°C.  

Other automated cold storage solutions opt for transferring entire racks to a -20°C zone for sample selection. However, this method poses two significant risks to sample integrity. Firstly, unwanted samples within the rack risk collateral damage from exiting the -80°C environment, and secondly, the addition of a second robotic arm increases the likelihood of system failure.

5. Preventative maintenance

On top of our 12-month warranty as standard, we offer ‘best-in-class’ service and support from reliance®, including an annual preventative maintenance visit to ensure optimal performance of your arktic throughout its lifetime. Unlimited phone, email and remote access support from our skilled engineers means that assistance is always available when you need it.

Conclusion 

Robust sample management is paramount in biological research, serving to avoid disaster and mitigate sample loss. With arktic's advanced features and reliable performance, laboratories can confidently preserve sample integrity, ensuring the integrity of research outcomes and avoiding unwanted costs from sample loss or degradation.