Reliable Cryo Storage

  • Published on 09/09/2013
  • Posted in Cryo Storage

Why do I need to barcode my samples? I know where they are!

Of course, you know where your samples are. However, what happens as the bank grows and your sample numbers double, triple, and continue to multiply?

What happens as you continue to expand the personnel in your biobank? How do you ensure that the rigid and controlled regulations that you put in place to track and process your precious samples are being followed?

In the past, samples came into a biobank and sat there as a secure repository of rare and special samples, not to be accessed or used due to the rareness and special nature of the samples. Now, biobanks not only bank samples for long-term storage, but also more often collect samples to be processed and then sent out to researchers for molecular, cellular, immunological or other studies.

With the new function of biobanks, comes a need for new processes and technology. Namely, samples need to be reliably and securely logged in and out of the biobank informational system or LIMS. The use of barcodes on the sample containers, be they vials, slides, bottles or other, can greatly increase the efficiency and speed of sample logging.

In addition to tracking the processing and shipping of samples, the child samples need to remain connected to the identification of the parent sample as well as any socioeconomic and clinicopathological assets that may be associated. The down-stream use of the samples relies heavily on the amount and quality of the information connected to the sample itself.


Finally, as biobank samples are now related to a vast amount of individual patient information, consent needs to be connected to the samples, both parent and child samples. Without the appropriate consent, the samples and the data from those samples is useless.

Thus, a LIMS for a biobank not only must track samples in and out of the biobank, but also must connect those samples with the associated patient demographic and information, patient consent, sample processing, chain of custody, etc., and make available this information for all samples to all involved. All of this information must be easily associated with each and every tube, container, slide or other sample storage system in a biobank.

The easiest way to connect samples, both parent and child, to the information in a LIMS, is to barcode each and every vial. Thus, to optimally label samples, both a human readable and 2D barcode can be used. The human readable allows a self-check mechanism throughout any processing or handling, while the 2D barcode allows samples to be speedily and efficiently tracked and monitored.

Thus, sample management requires secure, highly customizable, but reliable and easy to use labeling paired with secure and reliable sample storage.

Key Points:
1. 2D Barcoding allows for ease in sample management and tracking. Planning ahead saves time and cost in the end.
2. Even short-term processing and shipping biobanks can take advantage of 2D barcoding to increase operational efficacy.

Contact us to find out more.