Liquid Handling

How to Select the Right Cryogenic Storage Vial for your Laboratory

cryogenic vials

Cryogenic storage vials are tiny, capped, cylindrical containers cautiously designed for storing and preserving samples to survive temperatures as low as -196℃. Cryogenic storage vials can hold various cell types, varying from diagnosing stem cells, microorganisms, and primary cells to forming cell lines. They come in multiple forms and having the proper style that fulfils all your wants will confirm that you maintain sample integrity without paying extra.

Suppose you want the best cryogenic vials for your laboratory. In that case, MBP INC provides one of the best molecular biology products, from efficient DNA kits and Tecan Tips to the best cryogenic vials. You can visit our website and select the most suitable cryogenic storage vials for your laboratory.

Here we will assist you through our blog to know more about the essential considerations when buying the correct cryovial for your laboratory application.

Properties of Cryogenic Vial to Study               

It is vital to have a know-how of the properties of the Cryogenic Vials before purchase which is as follows:

  • External vs. Internal Threads

Both threads differ significantly, and people need to consider the differences before making any personal choices during purchase. Many laboratories often want to diminish tube storage space and go for an internal thread to let a better fit into freezer boxes.

Despite this, the externally threaded option is the better choice for you which carries a lower contamination risk. The design makes it harder for anything other than the sample to enter the vial. Externally threaded vials are generally chosen for genomic applications, but both choices are suitable for biobanking and other high throughput applications.

  • Storage Volume

Cryogenic vials are formed in multiple sizes, but mainly they range between a capacity of 1 mL and 5 mL. Make sure your cryovial is not overfilled, and extra room exists in case the sample swells while freezing. Laboratories pick 1 mL vials when keeping samples of 0.5 mL cells suspended in cryoprotectant and 2.0 mL vials for 1.0 mL of sample. Another Tip to avoid overfilling is to use cryovials with graduated markings to prevent any swelling which could cause leaking or cracking.

  • Screw Cap vs. Flip Top

The top you choose depends on the usage of liquid phase nitrogen or not. You will need screw-capped cryovials for the nitrogen liquid phase, which confirms that they can’t pop open mistakenly due to temperature changes or mishandling. Screw caps allow for easier recovery from cryogenic boxes and more effective storage.

However, if you are not using liquid stage nitrogen and want a more convenient top that is easily opened, then a flip top is a good choice. The flip lid is handy in higher data operations and batch processes.

  • Seal Security

To confirm a secure seal is to ensure that your cryovial cap and bottle are both created from the same material, ensuring that they shrink and increase in unison. If made from different materials, they will shrink and expand at different rates—the temperature changes, leading to gaps, consequent contamination, and possible leakage.

  • Glass vs. Plastic

Most laboratories use plastic, generally polypropylene, for safety and convenience in place of heat-sealable glass ampules. Glass ampules are now considered an old-fashioned choice. During sealing, invisible pinhole leaks may occur on glass ampules, which, when melted after storage in liquid nitrogen, may cause them to explode. They are also unsuitable for modern labeling procedures, which ensure sample traceability.

  • Self-Standing vs. Rounded Bottoms

Cryogenic vials are available as self-standing with rounded bottoms or star-shaped bottoms. Choose self-standing to place your vials on a surface.

Storage Temperature

There are multiple storage approaches for the cryogenic storage of samples. Each works at a specific temperature.

  • Nitrogen vapor freezers – Ranges -20°C to -150°C
  • Vapor phase LN2 – handle a specific temperature range between -135°C and -190°C depending on the model.
  • Liquid phase LN2 – keeps a temperature of -196℃

The type of cells being stored and a researcher’s preferred storage method will determine your laboratory’s three choices. However, not all tubes or designs will be suitable or safe. Using a cryogenic vial not ideal for your temperature could cause the vessel to crack during thawing or storage. Cautiously check the manufacturers’ recommendations on proper use as some cryogenic vials are suitable for temperatures as low as -175°C, some -150°C, and others just 80°C.


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