Each year, the spending on various drug therapies amounts to roughly $371 billion. With this much investment on the line, it’s essential to ensure that samples maintain their integrity. Temperature lapses are the leading cause of losses in global pharmaceutical supply chains and it’s therefore important to embrace the use of efficient sample storage. Good sample management ensures the safety of samples while also maintaining the profitability and integrity of pharmaceuticals.
Temperature lapses coupled with time lapses compound the issue of bio-storage efficiency. Stringent cold storage measures are the best way to guarantee that samples aren’t damaged. The practices and principles that govern the procedures of sample storage ensure consistent optimal sample conditions. There are several benefits of biobanking that highlight why cold sample storage is vital for your facility.
SAFE PRACTICES START AT THE POINT OF RECEPTION
All arriving samples must be in prime condition before entering cold storage. All samples must undergo a mandatory check to ensure their integrity. In case any samples arrive damaged, they are immediately identified and removed from the chain. This step helps to maintain the safety of all individuals involved in the delivery chain.
Certain red flags could indicate compromised samples. The presence of unidentified moisture could indicate that the sample is leaking or that packaging has been compromised. Pungent or unpleasant odors might also be a sign that the samples are less-than-ideal for storage. Stringent sample inspection lays the foundation for better storage conditions.
CLEAN AND DRY STORAGE AREA
As the temperature drops, atmospheric moisture tends to condense on cold surfaces. Moisture might collect on horizontal surfaces and damage samples. Additionally, moisture provides an ideal growth medium for microbes such as fungi and bacteria which might interfere with your samples.
To avoid unwanted moisture entering the cold storage facility, doors remain shut at all times. Food and beverages are also strictly prohibited in the sample storage facility to avoid any external contaminants interacting with the samples. Workers are assigned personal protective equipment at all times to ensure they don’t directly interact with samples.
Sample storage relies significantly on automation to achieve optimal results. Automation makes it easier to develop efficient sample management strategies and organize your facility’s portfolio while also securing your inventory. Using advanced systems within the storage area reduces the number of door cycles between cold and warm areas to offer better temperature stabilization and lower the risk of sample damage.
Automation also translates to fewer human errors. Human intervention may at times lead to mishaps that interfere with samples. Lowering the reliance on human input not only lowers risk but also translates to more efficient tracking of sample integrity to ensure that your samples remain in great shape at all times.
STATE OF THE ART STORAGE EQUIPMENT
Preserving biological samples or medications requires proper storage temperatures. A conventional refrigerator delivers temperatures that are on average between 1.7 to 3.3C (35 to 38 degrees) which is much too high for proper sample storage. A biological pharmaceutical facility uses top-quality Ultra-Low Freezers (ULTs) that keep samples at a recommended temperature of -28 to -18C (-18.4 to -0.4 degrees) with the capacity to store samples at temperatures as low as -80C (-112 degrees).
High-quality ULTs make both short-term and long-term storage possible. Temperature sensors monitor and regulate internal temperatures for efficient bio-banking conditions. Control options also make it possible to set custom temperatures up to a single decimal place for more delicate samples.
Handling thousands of samples calls for proper labeling practices to avoid the possibility of a mix-up. All incoming samples are subjected to a mandatory label check to ensure all details of the samples are present. Incase sample details are missing, the sample is kept aside and the parent institution is notified for purposes of clarity.
Vaccines, medications, and biological samples are highly sensitive and highly perishable. Cold sample storage aims to maintain the integrity of pharmaceutical and biological materials in a climate-controlled atmosphere. You can, therefore, rest assured that your samples are receiving the highest level of care.