Abeyance was founded to help advance wellness by better enabling life science research and therapy. Our goal is to provide innovative cryopreservation cold chain solutions that improve and simplify your workflow. Abeyance refers to a state of temporary suspension waiting for claim and use. We understand the ultimate objective is for the sample to be used in the laboratory or clinic and cryopreservation is an essential link toward that successful outcome. We strive to produce the easiest to use systems while still providing best-in-class performance and sample security. Our manufacturing capabilities and experience across the cryopreservation cold chain facilitates a consultative, comprehensive solution. We are dedicated to the highest levels of quality and service to guarantee the best overall cryo customer experience. Abeyance is proudly made in the USA with domestic materials and skilled labor. Let Abeyance help preserve your sample potential.
What is Cryopreservation?
Cryopreservation is the storage of material below -135℃ (-211℉) in order to provide indefinite longevity to biospecimens. -135℃ is referred to as the glass transition point (Tg) of polyol’s water solution. Below Tg, biological and metabolic activity effectively stops. At these temperatures, enzymatic activity slows substantially and essentially ceases while water molecules inside cells can no longer move freely and participate in chemical reactions. Current best practices recommend -190℃ dry storage in LN2 vapor for a significant safety margin and to reduce the risk of cross contamination between samples. Properly preserved biospecimens can be retrieved after decades of storage, successfully reanimated, and be virtually the same physiologically as the day they were frozen.
Cryogenic temperatures require specially designed vessels, or Dewars, that provide high thermal insulation while accommodating a variety of biospecimen containers. Most cryogenic containers consist of a double walled, vacuum insulated vessel with some type of radiation barrier. Essentially a large, very high performance Thermos. Liquid nitrogen (LN2) is the most common refrigerant used. Nitrogen is an inert, colorless, and odorless gas that forms about 78% of Earth’s atmosphere. LN2 is nitrogen in a liquid state at an extremely low temperature. Under atmospheric conditions, LN2 boils at approximately -196℃ (-320℉). It is produced industrially by fractional distillation of liquid air. LN2 is a highly sustainable resource as the driving force behind fractional distillation of air is the demand for liquid oxygen and liquid argon. In this process of repeated super cooling and pressurizing, LN2 is essentially an abundant byproduct making it an affordable, energy efficient refrigerant. Unlike mechanical refrigeration, in cryopreservation the refrigerant is consumed and must be routinely replenished to maintain the cooling function. Certain safety precautions must be followed when working with or handling LN2.
Why is it Important?
Advances in technologies such as cell and tissue engineering, gene manipulation, bioprinting, and biofabrication will continue to propel the field of regenerative medicine forward and further necessitate the need for quality biospecimens and the cryopreservation cold chain solutions that make them possible. Not just for longterm storage, also shipping and handling logistics through to bedside delivery.
“The demand for biospecimens – macromolecules, cells, or tissues – is growing rapidly. Therapeutic need is surging as people are treated with cells or tissues to cure a wide variety of diseases. Plus, entirely new therapies are being developed for long standing health concerns, such as cancer. Biospecimens are also being used for diagnostic and epidemiologic purposes — to diagnose diseases, improve blood safety, and monitor treatment progression.
Most biospecimens are collected in one location at a given time, and stored and used at another location at a later time. A blood specimen taken at the doctor’s office may be shipped off and analyzed at a variety of different places. And that healthcare provider is collecting more specimens than ever before. The critical biological properties of that sample must be preserved, or the measurement will not be clinically valid. The preservation of those samples must be built on scientific principles and protocols. Cryopreservation is a process framed by those scientific principles and not a cold black box. When a sample is placed in a freezer or dewar, it is not magically preserved in pristine condition. Understanding the scientific underpinnings of cryopreservation is critical to understanding and maintaining high-quality biospecimens for whatever application.”
Not all biospecimens require cryogenic temperatures for effective storage. The appropriate temperature will always depends on the type of sample, the duration of storage, and the end-use application. An accepted rule of thumb is that cryogenic temperatures are needed for general storage of more than 10-12 months and still maintain a high level of cell viability and molecular native structure. Freezing and thawing procedures have proven to be important factors in final sample viability and recovery. Freezing is a traumatic and stressful process at the cellular level. Extreme changes in temperature, pressure, water, and solute concentrations along with ice crystal formation can all cause lasting structural damage and cell death. Special solutions called cryoprotectants along with slow, controlled rate freezing and thawing protocols mitigate and minimize these effects.
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