Save the Date for a New Webinar! Beyond Energy Consumption: Storing Efficiently at -80C
Energy usage is a small part of the puzzle for optimizing efficiency in your laboratory. Join Phil Pipitone, Commercial Product Specialist for ULT Freezers at Eppendorf, and Dr. Stacey Willard, Senior Technical Product Specialist at Bio-ITech, for a discussion on how technology can improve your sample security and access times, and optimize your storage space. Learn about features you can find in new ULT freezers that improve temperature stability and sample security, while also decreasing power consumption and compressor stress. This all results in safer samples, lower power consumption, a longer freezer lifespan, and lower costs. You will also discover how cutting-edge inventory management can improve the efficiency of your sample storage and retrieval. Advanced search features, configurable sample types, and barcode sample identification make your -80C storage more efficient, reducing wasted space and door open time to save time and money.
This webinar will take place on Wednesday April 4th at 3pm EST. Register here to reserve your spot!
Create Freezer Space as if by Magic
If you've taken a look at your Freezer Challenge score sheet - and we hope you have, because it's nearly April already! - you've probably seen a question about high-density sample storage. What exactly is high-density sample storage? And why do we care about it for the Freezer Challenge? To help answer these questions we asked the sample storage experts at Micronic to assist us in writing the post below.
Optimizing Freezer Storage Capacity
In addition to reducing failure and ensuring optimal performance, adequate freezer management also includes optimizing freezer storage capacity to minimize operating costs. The U.S. Department of Energy looked at the space efficiency of a 2” cryo box and concluded the following, “For samples under 0.5ml, a cryo box 2” tall full of 2.0ml vials may be enormously wasteful. Consider this arithmetic: A standard 2” cryo box has this total volume: 5 x 13.25 x 13.25 cm = 860ml. With 100 cells per box, each cell has a volume of 8.6ml, therefore a 1.0ml sample is only 12% space efficient, and a 0.2ml sample is only 3% space efficient.”
This calculation shows that energy-saving projects such as managing your storage space can reduce the annual operating costs dramatically. One way to optimize freezer capacity is to consider compact storage racks based on the ANSI/SLAS standards, which can significantly increase the number of stored samples. Furthermore, the use of durable tubes with maximal sealing performance can minimize contamination and sample degradation ensuring that valuable samples stored for long term projects are still recoverable years down the road. In addition, selecting an appropriate tube volume that corresponds to the needs of each research project further reduces dead volume and maximizes sample recovery.
Every minute an upright ULT freezer door is open, it takes approximately 10 minutes to recover its temperature back to its initial set point. Keeping a well-organized inventory reduces the time needed to search for an item and decreases temperature fluctuations. In addition, when using compact storage racks based on ANSI/SLAS standards instead of 2” cryo boxes, the number of samples stored can be increased by a maximum of 116%, contributing to a more efficient lab space overall.
Whether you have five ULT freezers or one refrigerator, maximizing your sample storage capacity is a good way to ensure you don't have to buy another cold storage unit. Huge thanks to Micronic for sharing this information with us!
Cold Storage in the News
This week cold storage was in the news, and not in a good way. Two fertility clinics - one in Ohio and one in California - lost thousands of frozen embryos due to issues with their LN2 storage tanks. These articles from Wired and Pharmaceutical Commerce describe what happened, and outline corrective measures to ensure that failures like this don't happen again. As you might have suspected, implementing best practices in cold storage management isn't just a good way to earn points in the Freezer Challenge - it's also a great to way to ensure that vital samples are well-cared for.
This week we recognize our international partners!
The Freezer Challenge went global this year, and it's all thanks to our fantastic partners. Click on the links below to learn more about how organizations around the world are reducing the environmental impact of labs.
I2SL Chapter in Singapore
Help the scientific community, get Freezer Challenge bonus points. It's that simple.
My Green Lab has begun a utility-funded project to identify energy-efficient -20C freezers, and we need your help! In order to correctly characterize the -20C freezer market - and ultimately work to provide utility rebates for energy-efficient -20C freezers - we need to know more about the kinds of freezers you have in your lab. So we've developed a comprehensive survey to study -20C freezers. Because we are asking for 15-20 minutes of your time to accurately complete survey, and because providing this information will be an invaluable contribution to the scientific community through the establishment of rebates for lab equipment, we will add 6 bonus points to your Freezer Challenge score sheet for completing it. Upon completion, you will also have the option to enter into a draw for a MacBook Air. We are truly looking forward to all of your responses, and we extend our greatest thanks in advance :)