How to Select an Ultra Low Temperature Freezer

Ultra low temperature freezers generally operate between user-set ranges from -40⁰C to -86⁰C whereas models described as low temperature laboratory freezers can be set from -10⁰C to -40⁰C, depending on make and model.  Ultra low freezers such as the Norlake Ultra-Low Select models available from Tovatech are used to support product protection and performance testing across a range of life science and manufacturing operations.   Available in 19, 23.2 and 27.5 cubic foot capacities, the Nor-Lake models are ideal for applications such as preserving rare or costly biological specimens and testing equipment that must perform reliably under conditions of severe cold to -86⁰C.

Spec Tips for Ultra Low Temp Freezers

Keep in mind that the lower you set the thermostat on an ultra low temperature freezer the more energy it consumes to maintain that temperature.   Match the temperature capability to storage or environmental testing recommendations.  Norlake Ultra-Low Select upright freezers allow … Read the rest

Improving Temperature Stability in Scientific Freezers

Modern scientific freezers are designed to provide researchers with tight temperature control – an essential feature to avoid damage to costly and sometimes irreplaceable samples and specimens.  Most laboratory freezers feature alarm systems that alert personnel should the internal temperature fluctuate above or below that set on the thermostat.  Many models also have door-mounted digital displays showing the temperature of the contents.

A major threat to temperature uniformity is the open scientific freezer door when researchers retrieve or replace samples.  Minimizing the intrusion of ambient air is achieved when the internal cabinet is subdivided into compartments fitted with slide out wire baskets equipped with clear plastic fronts.  While refrigerated air circulates freely throughout the unit only the target basket, not the entire stock, is exposed to ambient air.  This feature is found on the SA6FManDTMD scientific freezer available from Tovatech.  It has an advanced alarming system that sounds if fluctuations … Read the rest

Storing Radioactive Materials Source Vials in Laboratory Refrigerators

This policy update from the NIH Radiation Safety Committee deals with the safety and security of radioactive material source vials.  Due to the exposure risk that radioactive materials entail the committee mandates the storage of these vials in locked storage. This could be a laboratory refrigerator or freezer or a suitable storage cabinet.  As long as the storage unit has a “keyed lock, a hasp and keyed padlock, or a combination padlock” and the unit is locked when storing the radioactive vial there will be no violation.  In the absence of a suitable locking mechanism for the storage unit, the policy mandates locking the lab where the vials are stored to remain in line with policy guidelines and not get cited for violations.

For further information visit www.ors.od.nih.gov.… Read the rest

DNA Testing at the Forefront of the Justice System

In any crime movie or serial these days a courtroom scene is not complete without DNA testing.  This document gives a rare insight into the behind the scenes workings and the parties involved in adopting DNA testing into the justice system.  There are a number of critical issues that need to be tackled notwithstanding the fact that DNA testing has been successful in exonerating the wrongfully accused.  Some of the issues addressed include handling requests for post conviction DNA testing, the use of forensic DNA technology for crime scene investigations, and so on.  For apprehending criminals with a record, samples stored in laboratory freezers for as long as 5 years have been helpful in identifying the prepetrators.

For further information visit www.ornl.gov.… Read the rest

Lab Design Considerations for Refrigerators

When you design a lab you need to pay attention to incorporating appropriate and suitable space and facilities for your laboratory refrigerators and freezers.  However it is often hard to earmark a spot for the refrigerators right at the design stage itself. This handbook from the National Institute of Justice looks at the entire process of planning, design, construction, and moving of Forensic Laboratories. While there is no specific design recommendation with respect to physical construction note how the notes for each section clearly identifies refrigerators.

For further information visit www.ncjrs.gov.… Read the rest

Developing Suitable Stone Fruit Crops for New York

This research project investigates methods to help New York farmers grow better stone fruits.  This fruit category – apricots, cherries, peaches, nectarines, and plums – came to the attention of the farmers due to the worldwide glut in apple supplies.  However, a shortage of adequate supplies and temperamental NY weather have been a roadblock in its adoption.  By improving the genetic stock and creating new varieties, researchers seek to develop a hybrid variety that will not only be suited to NY’s markets but will also be disease resistant and more adapted to NY’s environmental stresses.  An elaborate 10-year test is envisaged which includes developing cold tolerance, which will be tested in a laboratory freezer using exotherm analysis methods.

For further information visit www.reeis.usda.gov.… Read the rest

New Technology Tracks Drug Interaction with Human Tissue

Diseased cells testing is at times used to estimate a tumor’s or a diseased organ’s response to medication. The typical method is to remove the diseased cells from the body and grow them in a laboratory incubator.  The only drawback with this method is that the results may not be clinically relevant since the cell cultures grow in artificial conditions with drugs whose concentrations may not mimic the same levels as that within the body.  This report discusses the accelerator mass spectrometer (AMS) as an alternate method.  It is essentially a highly sensitive and accurate instrument for counting atoms.  It can measure trace quantities of carbon 14-labelled compounds in human tissue and fluids through a method called ‘microdosing’.  It can thus track multiple drugs in humans safely to determine the chemical entitiies’ interaction with diseased tissue.

For further information visit www.nist.gov.… Read the rest

Going Green in your Lab

Going green is no longer optional.  We all need to do our bit to conserve energy and limit the impact of greenhouse gases.  This PDF examines some of the ways in which you can go green in your lab. Take for example the fume hood.  It emits over thirty three thousand pounds of CO2 in a year. That’s twice the amount generated by your house and three times the amount generated by your car. By switching off the fume hood or closing it sash when not in use you reduce CO2 emissions by ten thousand pounds.  Likewise turn off unused growth chambers.  Careful use of Laboratory freezers can also help.  The document makes a number of other recommendations for conserving energy and reducing carbon footprint.

For further information visit green.cals.cornell.edu.… Read the rest

Prevent Explosions in your Lab with Flammable Storage Refrigerators

Storage of unstable or flammable chemicals is common to lab work.  Store these items in a normal or household refrigerator is extremely unsafe as outlined in this note.  Normal refrigerators have thermostat controls and door switches on the inside.  In the event of a power outage the the concentration of flammable vapors increases with the rise in internal temperature.  When power supply returns the thermostat or the switch can generate a spark that will result in an explosion.  By using a flammable storage refrigerator that is lab safe you can eliminate this risk.

For further information visit ehs.mit.edu.… Read the rest

Selection Tips for a -40˚C Lab Freezer

Laboratory freezers and scientific freezers play an important role in product protection and testing.  This applies to the healthcare/pharmaceutical industry and for testing mechanical components under extreme cold temperature conditions.  Lab freezers are manufactured to operate most efficiently at specific temperatures required by research and product development personnel.

Selecting the correct scientific freezer temperature depends on several factors including government, professional association and industry standards.  That’s why Tovatech offers a wide variety of low temperature freezers such as the Nor-Lake Premier -40˚C model.

Temperatures, Costs and other Lab Freezer Specification Factors  

While “freezing” suggests 0˚C (32˚F) specifications may require much lower temperatures.  Units are designed to maintain the required temperature in the most efficient manner. The Norlake Premier NSXF221 low temperature laboratory freezer, for example, is factory set to -40˚C although operators can control settings from -30˚C.  Keep in mind that the colder the capability the more costly the freezer, … Read the rest