Standardized Biobanking Workflow for Cold Chain Integrity
Biobanks potentially hold the key to the future of breakthroughs in scientific research, drug discovery, and clinical and translational medicine. It is, therefore, no wonder that biobanks are one of the top ten ideas changing the world right now .
Biological material and related data have become an important resource for medical research, and for the industrial development of diagnostics and therapeutics . Biobank collections can originate from human, animal or plants, be small or large-scale, contain various different sample types such as cells, tissues, blood, cord blood, DNA, etc. and be from healthy or affected donors. As a consequence, researchers from all scientific realms are becoming increasingly reliant on biobanks to provide samples. Sometimes diseases are associated with very small changes in the DNA (single-nucleotide polymorphisms), and using reliable samples to study such biomarkers becomes crucial. Without proper protocols and the use of advanced technologies, the integrity and viability of these samples can often be at risk . Small variations in sample handling and temperature can affect the reproducibility of basic and clinical research, particularly in rapidly advancing fields like cell therapy. BioCision products enable consistent, reproducible and standardized sample handling and temperature through innovative advanced thermal management technologies..
The following sections outline critical areas of the typical biobank workflow, and the recommended BioCision solutions to ensure temperature stability.
Sample Collection and Preparation
Temperature control during collection, preparation and transport of biospecimens is crucial to sample survival and recovery. However, the accepted method of using wet ice or dry ice to cool or snap freeze samples is often cumbersome, inconsistent, or simply not feasible in a cleanroom setting. The CoolBox™ XT ice-free cooling system utilizes proprietary BioCision XT Cooling Core technology, providing reliable ice-free sample cooling (0.5 to 4℃) for over 16 hours or freezing (-20 to 0℃) for over 10 hours. No electricity or batteries are required, making this an ideal solution for transporting temperature-sensitive samples within a facility. Removal of the XT Cooling Core and replacement with dry ice converts the CoolBox XT into a compact, portable sample snap freezing or transport system. All CoolBox systems are easily adaptable to the lab, cGMP environment and the cleanroom.
CoolBox XT systems are modular and accommodate a variety of sample collection and storage vessels such as cryogenic vials, blood collection tubes, microfuge tubes, 2D barcode high-density storage tubes and others.
Controlled-Rate Cell Cryopreservation
Cell cryopreservation is often a challenging and critical step in the biobanking workflow. BioCision CoolCell® cell freezing containers have become the new standard for passive controlled-rate cell freezing, replacing outdated methods that require isopropanol-filled chambers or cumbersome programmable freezers. CoolCell freezing containers deliver results that are similar or better than programmable freezers and IPA containers. They are available in a variety of formats and sizes to complement different workflows and commonly used cryopreservation vessels. Recently, CoolCell freezing container was cited in a publication for cryopreserving biobanked blood in the development of a novel measure of sample quality (4). The CoolCell container ensured all blood samples started on equal footing before being subjected to variable sample handling.
Learn more about CoolCell cell freezing containers.
Cold Chain Management
After freezing, most samples must be processed and transferred from the -80°C freezer to LN2 systems. It is critical to maintain strict temperature control during this step to minimize transient warming events, which can affect the viability, functionality and efficacy of the frozen biomaterials. Some products may even require multiple transfers prior to downstream processing and each transfer must be carefully monitored.
Transport samples stored in liquid nitrogen
Liquid nitrogen-based CryoPod™ Carrier provides up to 4 hours of < -150°C temperature stability for valuable biological specimens and other materials. Ideal for transporting between buildings or around metro areas, the portable, compact carrier features an absorbent that prevents LN2 movement, minimizing risk of LN2 exposure to the specimens and operator. The electronic panel displays temperature, date and time and features audible and visual alarms, and logging capabilities. An optional automated filling station quickly and safely replenishes the 3L LN2 charge for extended operations.
1. Alice Park. 10 Ideas Changing the World Right Now. Time Magazine. March 12, 2009.
2. Godard B, Schmidtke J, Cassiman JJ, Aymé S (2003) Data storage and DNA banking for biomedical research: informed consent, confidentiality, quality issues, ownership, return of benefits. A professional perspective. Eur J Human Genet 11 (Suppl 2): 88–122. [PubMed]
3. Malm J1, Fehniger TE, Danmyr P, Végvári A, Welinder C, Lindberg H, Appelqvist R, Sjödin K, Wieslander E, Laurell T, Hober S, Berven FS, Fenyö D, Wang X,Andrén PE, Edula G, Carlsohn E, Fuentes M, Nilsson CL, Dahlbäck M, Rezeli M, Erlinge D, Marko-Varga GJ. Developments in biobanking workflow standardization providing sample integrity and stability. Proteomics. 2013 Dec 16;95:38-45. doi: 10.1016/j.jprot.2013.06.035. Epub 2013 Jul 13.
4. TJ Geddes et al. SPIN: Development of Sample-specific Protein Integrity Numbers as an Index of Biospecimen Quality. Biopreservation and Biobanking. 2013 Vol 11(1):25-32. DOI: 10.1089/bio.2012.0039