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Why is glass used for BioBanking storage? Plastic is so much easier!

Well, people aren’t using glass because they’re old fashion. They use glass because of the unique properties that glass offers over plastic. Namely, lower gas permeability. Think about a half drunk bottle of soda… You screw the cap tight, stick it in the fridge and forget about it. A week later you come back and [...]

Colder is better, right?

We’ve all heard it, or even thought it. The colder I store my samples the better. But is this really true and how cold is cold enough. The liquid phase of liquid nitrogen is -196°C. The vapor phase is approximately-150°C. However, the important number for sample storage is the glass transition point of water, which is [...]

Tissue preservation… what’s important?

Tissue preservation and storage is essential to the downstream use of tissues for research studies. The proper preservation and storage of tissue will prevent necrosis of the sample, which negates its use for research endeavors. Corresponding clinical and socioeconomic data is essential to the depth of the feasible downstream research that is achievable with preserved [...]

What does a cryoprotective agent do anyways?

We all know we prepare our samples for storage in LN2 with either glycerol, DMSO or some other cryopreservation agent. Why? What’s the biology behind the choice of cryopreservative and how does it affect our protocol? Why use cryopreservatives First, what does a cryoprotective agent do – It helps to prevent dehydration and ice formation [...]

What’s with all this talk about biobanks?

Why is Biobanking so important? The biobanking of samples is vital to the development of treatments and cures for all diseases that affect humans, animals, and plants. Biobanking even helps understand diseases of insects and microorganisms that ultimately affect the ecological balance of the planet. Biobanks store the clinical samples necessary to determine the genes, [...]

Sterile vs. Pyrogen-free: What’s the difference and why should I care?

Sterile vs. pyrogen-free – it’s important to your work and you need to know the difference. First of all, what is a pyrogen? Simply, a pyrogen is any substance that causes a fever. The most commonly thought of pyrogens are bacterial endotoxins and exotoxins, although the host body (human or animal) can also produce pyrogens. [...]

How to get better pictures from your frozen tissue sections

Do you want awesome immunohistochemical images, with 2, 3 or even 4 colors to demonstrate your proteins/structures/cells of interest? Do your antibodies and formalin or paraformaldehyde not play well together? Don’t fret, with the right tissue processing and storage conditions, you can get beautiful tissue sections with multiple stains from frozen sections. The first step [...]

Cryotube explosions: what’s happening?

To avoid cryotube or cryovial explosion, remember to use quality vials and secure the cap. With ultra-low temperature (ULT) sample storage, one of the most preventable ways that precious samples get damaged or lost occurs when excess pressure builds up inside of a cryogenic vial or glass ampule during freeze/thaw cycles. Although the cap seal [...]

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Safety is first and foremost when it comes to using liquid nitrogen

Recently, some posts about catastrophic cryotube failures have come up in my newsfeed, so I wanted to review a few key points from previous posts and add a little bit more information. Safety is first and foremost when it comes to using liquid nitrogen (LN2) cryostorage. When even a small amount of LN2 enters a [...]

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What happens when you put that vial in LN2?

In order to prevent contamination and/or loss of vital samples upon cryopreservation, the extreme temperature change that occurs when a cryovial is placed into the vapor phase of liquid nitrogen (LN2) must be considered. Significant changes in internal vial pressure can lead to leakage or explosion of the vial and loss of vital samples. Let’s [...]

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