Problem: A high percentage of biological samples are stored in first- and second-generation biobanks that may affect sample integrity. Even if initial sample quality is high, certain storage and handling techniques degrade quality over the long term1, putting these samples at risk for degradation before they are used in downstream assays.
Earlier biobanks typically cobbled together sample storage systems in chest freezers or liquid nitrogen tanks, and used liquid handling and library information management systems (LIMS) from different manufacturers2.
A door opened on a manual freezer for even a short period can result in a significant temperature rise. In figure 1, data gathered by Hamilton Storage Technologies shows that the temperature of samples taken from -80ºC storage to ambient conditions increases at an average of 21.5ºC per minute. Holding a manual freezer door open for more than one minute can raise the temperature of samples to above -60ºC, dependent on their location in the freezer and the tube type. The tubes used in this study were 300 uL REMP tubes with 40 uL Fisher 10X TBS PH 7.4 buffer solution. This can happen countless times over the lifetime of a sample stored and retrieved manually. Accumulated temperature rises above this level are believed to damage the integrity of many types of biospecimens3.
Introducing variability and inconsistency to sample storage can add unknowns into downstream assays, reducing sample quality.
Solution: One product that can solve this sample quality issue is BiOS, a new, third-generation biobanking system from Hamilton Storage Technologies. The BiOS system can store, retrieve, and manipulate samples at ultra-low temperatures (-85ºC)5
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