Lyophilizing (or freeze drying) samples is a common laboratory practice, but that doesn’t mean the equipment it requires should be ordinary. At Labconco
, we’ve been committed to manufacturing our line of quality FreeZone® Freeze Dryers since 1974. This year, we’ve taken that commitment a step further, redesigning our freeze dryer line to incorporate unique features focused on bringing utility and peace of mind to the people behind the process.
“My main attention in this new product development was to consider the way people use the equipment—specifically, what they needed the new lyophilizers to do that the old design simply wasn’t doing,” said Kelly Williams, a veteran Labconco Product Manager.
The new design is focused on flexibility, device connectivity, and sample integrity, Williams said. The culmination? Lyo-Works™ OS
, a robust, 5" color touch screen display built to empower scientists and researchers by providing the following:
On-board collection of sample data with real-time graphing, including collector temperature, vacuum level, and drying accessory parameters.
Sample data that can be quickly exported via USB or Ethernet.
Plug and play control of drying accessories with many new accessories that are specific for sample types.
Security settings that protect parameters from being changed.
Smartphone-compatible e-mail notifications that offer updates about sample status and system alerts.
“We knew that customers wanted to know the conditions of their samples without having to be in the room with the freeze dryer. Being able to easily gather data points from a run as it was happening was another key focus for us,” Williams said.
In addition to Lyo-Works OS, each freeze dryer also features automatic controls that protect samples and vacuum pumps—one more way to provide peace of mind to end users. A vacuum break valve helps protect the integrity of samples in case the vacuum pump or freeze dryer shut off unexpectedly. The valve bleeds air into the unit, which automatically restarts the refrigeration and vacuum systems after outages of less than five minutes.
The moisture sensor prevents refrigeration or vacuum from starting if moisture is detected in the collector chamber area preventing damage to the vacuum pump. The vacuum alert with auto shut down eliminates the chance of creating a large oil mist or of the vacuum pump running dry in the event of a large vacuum leak.
FreeZone® Freeze Dryers are available in benchtop and mobile console models and come in a variety of capacities, ranging from 2.5L to 18L with collector temperatures of -50°C, -84°C, and -105°C. For end users working with corrosive compounds, PTFE-coated collectors are available for each size.
The revamped FreeZone line also includes many new accessories, including the Scroll Vacuum Pump with available silencer and the FreeZone Cart, which can support benchtop freeze dryers or other equipment up to 450 pounds. In addition, there are a host of tray dryers, shelves, manifolds, and flask options to meet a variety of lyophilization needs.