Proper cold chain management is critical in the biopharmaceutical and biobanking industries. From their date of manufacture to their date of distribution, drugs, vaccines, and other temperature-sensitive biospecimens must be maintained at ultra-low temperatures to preserve viability and efficacy. How can ultra-low temperatures be stably maintained during transport and storage? As the leading developer of advanced thermal technologies for biospecimen handling and standardization, MedCision has recently introduced the BioT™ ULT Transporter. Compared to current practices for sample handling, the BioT™ ULT Transporter enables reliable handling and transport of temperature-sensitive samples.
MedCision scientists have extensively studied current cold chain procedures and summarized their findings in a white paper. One of the most common conventional methods for handling valuable biospecimens is to place them in a cryostorage box sitting atop a Styrofoam box filled with dry ice. Thermocouple measurements of temperature at various locations in and around test vials stored under these conditions showed that the samples can warm up to -40°C within 30 minutes. Even if the Styrofoam box is only partially filled with dry ice, so that the cryostorage box sits in dry ice vapor rather than room temperature air, the targeted -75 to -50°C temperature region only exists less than 1 inch above the dry ice surface. Thus, a Styrofoam box filled with dry ice simply does not stably maintain samples at ultra-low temperatures, and may subject them to an unnecessary freeze-thaw event.
MedCision has developed an innovative, reliable system for handling and transporting of critical temperature-sensitive biospecimens. The BioT™ ULT transporter is a portable cooling system that provides a stable -75 to -50°C environment for over 24 hours on one charge of dry ice. How does it do this? The light-weight insulated transporter contains patent-pending DIR™ cooling inserts that hold dry ice at the rear and side walls of a central cavity. As the dry ice sublimes, cold CO2 gas settles in the central cavity, providing a stable working temperature of < -50°C within 5 minutes of adding dry ice. With the lid off, the BioT ULT transporter maintains a stable -75 to -50°C environment for 8 hours. With the lid on, temperatures are maintained below -50°C for up to 24 hours.
Since the BioT ULT transporter can maintain -75°C for several hours, it provides an ideal alternative to a -80oC freezer for freezing of valuable cell samples prior to long-term storage in liquid nitrogen. Cell samples placed in the portable transporter had nearly identical freezing profiles compared to those placed in a -80°C freezer. Using this method, the freezing rate occurs at the desired -1°C/min rate, which has been shown to maximize cell viability.
To read more about the BioT ULT transporter, click here.