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Cryogenic Vials in Cryopreservation

Updated on October 14, 2014

Features of cryogenic vials

Depending on the manufacturer, different cryogenic vials boast of a variety of features that are tailor made for specific functions. From the materials they are made of to the caps and the labels every distinct feature exists for a specific function.

The specially formulated medical grade polypropylene has been certified to be free of pyrogens, toxics Rnase and DNA. The polypropylene is very effective in both mechanical coolers and nitrogen gas coolers, as they are not brittle and therefore they don’t break

under working temperatures below -190⁰C. The polypropylene material is also clear which enables the observation of culture conditions.To ensure that the vials are free from any contamination, the cryogenic vials are sterilized by gamma rays.

The cryogenic vials also come with a cap manufactured from polypropylene too. The similarity of materials allows for the uniform expansion and contraction of the cryogenic vials limiting the possibilities of leakages that may lead to contamination of the samples. The capalso comes with an easy to open fast thread that allows the cap to be opened and tightened almost by a single turn. Exterior threaded vials and female caps allow for internal surfaces being smooth for easy placement and removal of samples from the vials.

To eliminate identification associated errors the vials come with printed barcodes that can be read by most of the available barcode scanners. Graduation marks are also present which enables the researcher to establish the quantities of samples in the vials. Besides the barcodes, a patch is provided for easy labeling of the samples.

Advancements in the production of cryogenic vials have led to the development of secure locks for the vials and any sample tempering can be noted. These secure systems also ensure that a tight barrier is created hence there is no chance for contamination.

Cryogenic vial racks are manufactured from high quality and durable polycarbonate are used for stacking of the vials to be placed in the cooling devices. The use of cryogenic vial rack is advantageous as it greatly improves space economy when the vials are placed in a freezer as they can be stacked on each other and be retrieved easily.

The racks and cryogenic vials can withstand high temperatures hence their suitability when it comes to the use of autoclaves to sterilize them as they are neither discolored nor destroyed in any way. The racks are made from different colors which help in the easy identification of the samples.

Importance of cryogenic vials in cryopreservation

One cannot overlook the importance of cryogenic vials, when it comes to cryopreservation, the reason being that the technique of the latter is so sophisticated that it demands a high standard of storage and carriage, for which the research-based novelty of cryogenic vials is hand convenient. These are indeed, designed to serve the purpose. They are thus leak-resistant, pure due in turn to the co-molded thermoplastic elastomer layering. In fact, the co-molding has been styled in such a manner that, it is co-molded with the screw cap. In addition to these features, each vial has a unique computerized printed bar code. The result is thus a mechanical data collection that is self-directing, self-activating as well as self-regulating. The note worthiness of cryogenic vials is their use by the cytogenetic technologists, who use these vials to freeze the chromosomes, to archive them for research purposes. Another significant use of cryogenic tubes is in the food industry, where they are utilized to preserve food. Furthermore, they are used in the western countries in the research field associated with cloning. The cryotubes come to play their role in the agriculture field as well, to store the seeds of plants that grow seasonally, so as to use them in future, in favorable atmospheric conditions.

Thanks to the research scientists, currently, a new generation of cryotubes is available, which are gas-tight and contamination-proof, free-standing, external threading, have bottom shaped like a star, so as to facilitate easy-opening in tube racks. They are unbreakable with color coded cap inserts, manipulation-proof, reseal able bags.

Another distinguished feature of the new generation cryotubes is their superior transparency thus enabling the sample to be visualized easily.

Some additional features of these new generation cryotubes is that they have superfast, thread design and are graduated with large writing surface.

The cryogenic vials, also known as” Micro bank “vials, have another useful role to play i.e. stored at -70 degree centigrade; they are utilized for long term storage and preservation of dermatophytic fungi for research purposes.

In conclusion, the cryovials were fashioned with the objective of bio-preservation. In order to achieve this goal, there was a need to have a system that was properly sealed, to ensure the maintenance of integrity of the specimen contained therein, and also the assurance that the system would remain stable over long periods of time during cryopreservation and bio-banking procedures, that’s what led to the emergence and designing of the cryovials by the scientists.

Cryo tubes used in cryopreservation:

The word cryo means “cold “or “freezing.”It is a prefix, which if added to the start of a word expands its meaning. Cryo tubes are made up of propylene, an unsaturated organic compound and a thermoplastic material polymer used in laboratory equipment, because it is strangely resistant to many chemicals. They are used for transportation and storage of biological material such as diagnostic specimen. The cryogenic tubes are non-toxic (cannot damage the biological material being carried by them) non-pyrogenic (do not produce heat) and also non-mutagenic (do not induce any change in the genetic material) and are sterile (have undergone the process of elimination of all forms of life).

The cryo tubes should conform to the requirements and standard set by the IATA. They are available in a standard diameter of 12.5millimeter.All have a round bottom and are ready in the lengths of 42, 48, 70 and 90millimetres.

They are accessible as: 50 units per pack per 300 cartons per 1200case.

; 50 units per pack per400 carton per1600case

: 50units per pack per450carton per 1800case

: 50 units per pack per500carton per 2000case.

They are obtainable in volumes of 1.0, 1.8, 3.5and 4.5millilitres

As a principle, a cryogenic tube should not be used in the liquid phase of liquid nitrogen, unless properly sealed, the reason being, that improper use of the cryotubing may cause the liquefied nitrogen, to get trapped inside the wall ,leading to a built up pressure, resulting in possible detonation or bio-imperil release. It is thus mandatory to observe pertinent safety precautions when handling and disposing of the cryo tubes. Such measures are outlined in the cryopreservation manuals. The significance of this safeguarding is that, at extremely low temperatures, nitrogen is in a liquid state.

Liquid nitrogen, is a cryogenic fluid(can cause rapid freezing on coming in contact with a living tissue)however when properly insulated(non-conducting and heat –proof)from ambient heat, it can be stored and transported in vacuum flasks in which the very low temperature is held constant at minus one ninety six degree centigrade.(-196)by slow boiling of the liquid resulting in evolution of nitrogen gas.

Cryo tubes are available globally in different sizes:

1. 2ml cryogenic tubes (perfect sealing +water tight)

2. 2ml cryo tubes with internal screws (available in diverse colors)

3. Cryo tubes that are centrifugable, high and low temperature –resistant.

4. 2ml freezing tubes, that are scratch-resistant, available in white, however the screw cap is available in different colors.

5. Cryo tubes, with gasket molded graduation (available in the form of containers, tubes, pipe, drainage etc.)

6. Medical cryo tubes

7. Plastic cryo tubes (1.8ml) in different colored caps

8. Silicon cryo tubes (1.5ml) with conical bottom, silicon ring

9. Leak-proof cryo tubes (centrifugable, with o ring in the cap)

10. Glass centrifuge tubes.


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