New Dividable Cryotube Allows for Multiple Sample Storage in Single Tube

January 19, 2018

1CryoBio’s Flexiquot technology allows for the deep-freeze storage and handling of multiple aliquots in a single tube, winning it the CPhI Pharma Award 2017 for Excellence in Pharma: Analysis, Testing, and Quality Control.

1CryoBio’s FlexiQuot, a dividable cryotube, is a new product that allows for the storage and handling of multiple aliquots in one tube. The tube is designed to hold a total volume of 5 mL and has pre-defined breaking points that can make it dividable into five aliquots of 1 mL each for individual thawing and analysis. The tube can store liquid samples in the freezer down to -196 ⁰C. In this Q&A, BioPharm International spoke to Georgios Georgopoulos, business development manager, 1CryoBio, about FlexiQuot, which received the CPhI Pharma Award 2017 for Excellence in Pharma: Analysis, Testing, and Quality Control. 

BioPharm: Can you elaborate on how the FlexiQuot technology fulfills the needs and requirements for cryogenic storage of biological product?

Georgios Georgopoulos (1CryoBio): FlexiQuot is a sterilized tube made of medical-grade polypropylene, durable down to -196 ⁰C, and has undergone all necessary toxicology tests (hemocompatibility, pyrogenicity, etc.) with excellent results. Therefore, it covers the basic demands for cryogenic storage of biological liquids. Its unique feature, though, that makes it ideal for biological liquids is its divisibility. According to its concept, you can snap off a part of it while still in a frozen state without the need to thaw the whole content. This way the remaining sample avoids the disastrous freeze-thaw cycles that degenerate its quality and stays intact for the rest of its life. A biological sample stored in FlexiQuot will provide reliable test results over time, and this is a big advantage for everyone that stores biological liquids in the freezer.

BioPharm: How does the FlexiQuot provide better sufficient handling compared to traditional fixed-volume cryogenic tubes?

Georgopoulos (1CryoBio): A biological sample is stored either in several small cryotubes per sample that are frozen and thawed one at a time or in one (or few) bigger cryotube(s), repeatedly frozen and rethawed. Compared to several small cryotubes, FlexiQuot offers much faster sample preparation and requires much fewer racks for storage and less freezer space. It also reduces the possibilities for errors/mix-ups in labelling and storage, as the lab technician applies the labels on all aliquots of FlexiQuot simultaneously and also deals only with one (or much fewer) tube(s) per sample. Compared to traditional big-volume cryotubes, FlexiQuot has similar handling but retains the sample quality over time, as it avoids the disastrous freeze-thaw cycles.

BioPharm: How is sample loading accomplished with the multi-compartment tube design, and how does the FlexiQuot ensure sterility during the sample loading process?

Georgopoulos (1CryoBio): FlexiQuot is a 5-mL cryotube with the ability to break at specific points where the plastic is thinner. It does not have separate compartments that need to be filled specifically. The lab technician fills the FlexiQuot tube with a pipette up to the 5-mL line, as he would also with any other vial. When he needs the sample to test it, he simply snaps off the first aliquot, places a cap on both open parts without touching the open sample surface, returns the remaining sample to the freezer and leaves the aliquot out until it thaws. Sterility is ensured by no touch with the open sample surface. For very sensitive samples, the use of laminar flow cabinet is recommended.

BioPharm: How does this technology save on time and cost?

Georgopoulos (1CryoBio): Our technology is time saving simply because the user must perform the sample preparation steps, such as pipetting, sealing, labelling, storing in racks, etc., fewer times. According to tests that researchers performed for us during the R&D phase, storing samples in five FlexiQuot tubes instead of 25 fixed-volume cryotubes can save up to 20 minutes in preparation time.

Cost savings come from 3 sources:

  • labor, as you need less preparation time

  • consumables, as you use fewer tubes and racks

  • electricity, because FlexiQuot can offer up to 20% savings in cryogenic storage space, so in the same freezer you can store more samples.