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Biobanking: Storing Samples for 30 Years in -86ºC ULT Freezers

Panasonic and the Life Lines project

In Biobanking, sample security is of paramount importance. Thousands of potentially irreplaceable samples may be kept over several years for use in research, and knowing that storage systems are reliable and accurate enough to keep them safe is vital.

At the Life Lines project in Groningen in the Netherlands, this need is keenly understood, and Panasonic freezers were selected to protect the project’s precious samples.

I have always recommended the use of Panasonic ULT freezers,” said Dr Jacko Duker, Procesmanager Lifestore at the Life Lines Project. “They are reliable and accurate enough to ensure secure sample storage over a long period of time, which is exactly what we were looking for within the Life Lines facility.”

Life Lines was set up in 2006 with the aim of becoming a large scale genetic study into healthy aging. The project is based across three generations of participants who each provide researchers with biologic samples for analysis. Fifty percent of these samples may be held for up to 30 years, depending on the health of the participant, so reliability of the equipment and the brand was crucial when selecting the freezers.

“During the selection process, four freezer manufacturers’ products were tested to see how well they met our specifications,” explained Mr. Duker. “These included temperature tests on 3 to 4 different spots inside the freezers, based on specified temperatures ranging from -84ºC to -56ºC. The freezers also underwent a stress test, where the doors were opened for 1 minute, then closed again for 30 seconds then checked to see how well they held and recovered their programmed temperatures. As the freezers were likely to be opened and closed on a regular basis to access the samples, it was crucial they didn’t warm up too much or take too long to stabilise.”

For Life Lines, another valuable asset of Panasonic ULT freezers was that they have consistently retained the ability to hold a large number of samples, even as newer models have come out that have lower power consumption.

“Finally, Panasonic freezers have a reliable system to ensure any temperature fluctuations or faults that do occur do not go unnoticed,” added Mr. Duker. “Freezers can be continuously monitored and an emergency call made if a freezer’s temperature fluctuates above or below the specified limits. This way we can continue with the valuable work taking place at the project knowing that our samples are secure and protected.”

Low-temperature range applications

ULT upright freezers -86ºC

Panasonic offers a wide range of upright -86ºC freezers to suit your individual storage needs. All our freezers feature the usual highquality components you would expect from Panasonic including HCFC-free refrigerants. All units feature full alarm systems to ensure your samples are well protected and secure.

Panasonic freezers ultilise a cascade cooling system, enabling ultra-low freezer temperatures to be reached quickly and quietly. Microprocessor control maintains these temperatures accurately and reliably.

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