Mind the cold-chain gap!

Maintaining an unbroken cold chain for precious cell therapy products is vital for cell survival, product viability, and ultimately – therapeutic success.

Especially since transporting products from initial freezing stage at -80°C to long-term storage in liquid nitrogen can pose one of the most overlooked threats to cold-chain integrity.

a white chain

Consider this scenario: Your company manufactures a wonderfully effective cell therapy product, which can potentially cure a hideous and sneaky disease.

You’ve done your homework, and you know cold-chain maintenance is vital for the product. You may have used CoolCell® containers to make sure recommended freezing rate is achieved. Or you may have employed a more expensive controlled-rate freezer.

Now you are ready to grab the samples and put them into liquid nitrogen containers ready to receive the vials downstairs in a dedicated storage room. You have a cryobox at hand, you open the freezer door, seize your samples and – FREEZE!

Wait a second, you wonder: Is it safe to transport those samples downstairs in this cryobox? Will this action disrupt the cold chain?

Good thinking. Because data illustrates how quickly the cold chain gets interrupted during this common transport step.

One study presented at an European Biobank conference explored the warming rate of 1 ml vials when removed, even if only for seconds, from frozen conditions (either -190°C or -80°C).

Vials warmed at a rate of +0.5°C/second when taken from -80°C into ambient temperatures. In one minute, this would bring your sample temperature to -50°C. But you can prevent a break in the cold chain during transport step from -80°C to -190°C (liquid nitrogen).

Most suggestions seem obvious but can easily be overlooked during the everyday lab frenzy. Simple recommendations include using an already frozen cryobox for the transport step, accelerating transfer time – and having the -80°C freezer close to liquid nitrogen storage units.

If you can’t move your freezer near the liquid nitrogen storage containers, do it the other way around.

Just use CryoPod™ carriers for transport so you don’t interrupt the cold chain.

These carriers provide safe, reliable, and portable < -150°C cryogenic transport for biospecimens for more than 4 hours…which saves you the mental anguish of interrupting the cold chain and the physical pain of moving a -80°C freezer!