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The power of standardizing sample storage

How much thought have you given to the size of the tube you use for your samples? Or the size of your storage container? This Micronic blog highlights how carefully considering these simple choices can have a significant impact on your lab’s cold storage.

The validity of the data of a research project depends on the quality of samples. To prevent reductions in quality, strict standards for sample storage­ are needed. This is where the standardization of biobanking practices can be useful. But how should you standardize efficiently?

Determine tube size

Samples should be placed in tubes corresponding the volume of the sample (read more about this). When sample volume has been estimated based on the research protocol, the next step is determining appropriate tube size. To increase storage efficiency and minimize sample loss, avoid excess volume inside the sample storage tube.

Arrange tubes

To increase long-term sample storage efficiency, evaluate how your tubes are arranged within storage containers. Placing tubes into well-organized, robust storage racks or boxes that comply with the ANSI/SLAS standards and then stacking these efficiently in aluminum freezer racks optimizes the number of samples that can be stored in a freezer or cryo tank. This saves space, enabling you to store more within the unit.

Ensure traceability

Each sample tube and storage rack should be coded to ensure that every sample is traceable at any given moment. A common way to code sample storage tubes and racks is with text and barcodes, most secure by etching with a laser. By scanning the barcode of each tube and rack, each sample can be easily registered or updated. The location and characteristics of a sample should be recorded carefully in a Laboratory Sample Management System so it can be found again when that sample is needed for further research. By scanning barcodes of samples as they leave the freezer, this ensures the absolute traceability of each sample.

Micronic Starter Packs contain everything needed to start standardizing sample storage. Starter Packs are offered in a range of configurations and sizes. Taking the step to standardize sample storage will safeguard a secure sample logistics system and eliminate the costly possibility of false samples identities.

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