Medical-Grade Cold Storage in the Lab

April 2017 - Vol.6 No. 3 - Page #12
Category: Refrigeration/Freezers

All clinical laboratories strive to employ highly skilled staff members to utilize the best analyzers and equipment, yet the ultimate quality of laboratory services is equally dependent upon the integrity of reagents and media used throughout the lab. All consumable reagents and control materials used in pre-analytic and analytic phases are sensitive to temperature extremes and fluctuations. Because of this, the manufacturers of these products specify tolerance ranges, within which the efficacy and accuracy of those products is assured. Failure to store these items within the designated temperature range, or to use them to test specimens outside of the designated range, significantly increases the risk of producing erroneous results.

Of course, different labs have different needs, and in the pages that follow, Medical Lab Management seeks to provide a sampling of available products to help your lab find the right combination of medical-grade refrigeration, freezing, and temperature monitoring equipment.

Due to the critical necessity of maintaining specific temperatures during both active testing operations and static storage or transport, we encourage the use of medical-grade equipment in your lab.

The AutoCool+H from Talyst delivers access-controlled, refrigerated storage and computer-driven dispensing for refrigerated products. It enables centralized control and perpetual inventory management, and supports integrated wholesale ordering. The device is scalable to accommodate expanding needs and satellite locations, and is fully integrated with Talyst’s AutoSecure system to provide a single inventory solution. The refrigerator supports bar code confirmation of all dispensing and return activities, and limits personnel actions through password-secured access.

For more information, visit

Control Company’s environment cloud-monitoring platform, TraceableLIVE, now allows users monitoring critical refrigerator and freezer environments to view live measurement data remotely via web-based or mobile app-based applications, no software installation required. Automatic alerts via text, email, and mobile send immediate notifications when environments move out of predetermined ranges. Devices are currently available to monitor temperature and humidity, with those monitoring carbon dioxide and barometric pressure soon to come.

Control Company
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Follett announces the release of an enhanced feature set in all of its upright refrigerators and freezers. The 7-inch, full-color capacitive touchscreen, designed to enhance data management and product protection, features data and event recording with on-screen display and graphing, as well as USB data export capabilities, data collection and alarms, and an electronic locking system. The units feature a back-plenum air distribution system for superior temperature consistency at all levels in the cabinet. An all-in-one top-mounted modular refrigeration unit increases the useable storage space, and the modular design simplifies maintenance, since the refrigeration system can be removed without disrupting the contents and internal temperature of the refrigerator.

Follett LLC
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Helmer Scientific’s Laboratory and Plasma Freezers (-30°C) are designed to meet the demands of the clinical laboratory setting and help ensure the integrity and safety of reagents, controls, patient samples, and blood products. The auto-defrost feature offers exceptional uniformity during defrost cycles (as well as normal operation), and the freezers are now available in 115-volt and 208/230-volt versions. Helmer Scientific offers both the i.Series and Horizon Series lines, with 4 and 5 cubic feet undercounter models and 20 and 25 cubic feet upright models. The i.Series line features the i.C³ door-mounted user interface with full-color touchscreen, providing constant temperature monitoring and downloadable information logs. Horizon Series models offer a temperature controller with a built-in alarm. Both lines feature built-in temperature min/max functionality, programmable automatic defrost, bacteria-resistant powder coating, and configurable storage options.

Helmer Scientific
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Terumo BCT’s Blood and Component Refrigerators combine forced-air cooling with two independent sensors that monitor and control the interior temperature, ensuring cold-storage consistency at a range of 2°C to 6°C. Even temperature distribution enables full utilization of the interior space without freezing the product. Storage capacities range from 54 bags to 450 bags, based on bag sizes up to 500 mL. In the event of a power outage, the polyurethane insulation and triple-pane glass door allow for a maximum holdover time of 3.5 hours without the need for an external power source. Additionally, a backup battery provides an additional 48 hours of temperature monitoring to help avoid the need to transfer contents during a power outage.

From Terumo BCT
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Thermo Fisher Scientific’s ENERGY STAR−certified Thermo TSX Series high-performance blood bank refrigerators are designed to preserve the integrity of whole blood while enabling laboratories to meet their sustainability objectives. The TSX Series is powered by V-drive technology, running at variable speeds to adjust the systems’ cooling performance to current conditions. As a result, temperature uniformity and stability are achieved across the chamber at all times for optimal sample safety while facilitating significant energy savings. In addition, the systems use natural R290 refrigerants in compliance with EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP). When combined with insulation, the refrigerators offer quiet operation at 52 dBA. The TSX Series operates at a factory pre-set temperature of 4°C to meet the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) strict guidelines for the storage of whole blood and blood components.

Thermo Fisher Scientific
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BioFridge functions as a laboratory refrigerator and/or freezer utilizing a portable platform that can be self-powered for up to 18 hours providing precise temperature stability. BioFridge manufactures various sized refrigeration units to accommodate RBC’s, platelets, cryoprecipitate, and plasma (warm or refrigerated) all on a single unit. Units are equipped with data loggers and can be equipped with real-time temperature and location transmitters. All products are manufactured in the United States.

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The Marvel Scientific 24-inch All Refrigerator features the MicroSentry II Scientific Temperature Control mounted on the door front for easy access and to help maintain temperature integrity. The interior temperature has a user-selectable temperature set point between 2°C and 8°C, and temperature is maintained within 2°C of that set point. Visual and audible alarms alert when temperature variances or door-ajar events occur. The interior features three full-depth, cantilever-mounted metal shelves, adjustable in 1.5-inch increments, and bright energy-efficient white LED lighting for easy viewing of contents. Other features include: front toe-grill venting, an extra-long jacketed commercial power cord with a hospital-grade plug, a door lock, a 1-inch probe port in the rear cabinet wall, and automatic defrost without supplemental heat. Every unit is CSA-approved and comes with a warrantee.

Marvel Scientific
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Caron’s Freeze/Thaw chambers are designed for repetitive product freezing and thawing. With a -25°C to 70°C temperature range, and spacious 25 and 33 cubic-foot chamber options, these units are ideal for a wide range of laboratory applications. Additional benefits include an intuitive ramp and soak touchscreen controls for custom cycle profiles, corrosion-resistant, stainless steel interior construction and powder-coated steel exterior, easy interior removal for cleaning and maintenance, and powerful refrigeration for fast ramp-downs combined with Refrigeration on Demand (gROD) for low energy use, and reduced power and HVAC expense.

Caron Products & Services, Inc
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Isothermal liquid nitrogen freezers from Custom BioGenic Systems are able to safely store a wide range of samples at liquid nitrogen temperatures without liquid nitrogen contact, reducing the risk of cross contamination. Labs are able to utilize the entire storage space (no bulky platforms) and vapor circulation provides better visibility in the storage area. The wide lid opening allows for easy access to all racks (accommodates all standard rack systems). Dry storage guards against vial shrinkage sometimes associated with liquid nitrogen storage.

Custom BioGenic Systems
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So-Low Environmental Equipment Company manufactures the Ultra-Low Temperature freezer—U85-25, which features a 25-cubic-foot capacity and a temperature range of -40°C to -85°C. Designed for a variety of medical and clinical laboratory uses, the upright freezer style allows for easy access and organizational storage. The freezers feature digital control with two temperature displays (indicating both set and current temperatures), a battery-operated alarm system, and a relay for remote alarming.

So-Low Environmental Equipment Co, Inc
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