When storing biological materials long-term, there are many things to consider, including available space, inventory management, temperature, and other requirements. Biological storage services offer solutions to many of these problems and can make lab operations more efficient. You may want to look into outsourcing your storage needs if:
Your Material is Regulated Under cGMPs
Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) regulations are a set of standards held by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for companies that engage in the manufacture of drug products and pharmaceuticals. cGMP regulations are designed to make sure pharmaceutical products meet quality standards for human medicinal use. cGMP compliant biological storage facilities take the guesswork out of product and sample storage, ensuring that all items are stored properly and records are maintained perfectly. Well trained staff expertly handle all types of materials following FDA best practices, while top of the line storage equipment keeps products at the required temperature.
You Don’t have Backup Freezers
Aging equipment poses a hazard to stored material. Most labs do not have access to an empty -80º freezer should theirs experience technical difficulties or fail. Temperature sensitive material is easily damaged during the time it takes to find a freezer with space and transfer boxes. Furthermore, if a freezer fails over the weekend, it may be days before a problem is noticed and material moved, increasing the amount of time samples are at higher temperatures. Biostorage services are monitored 24/7 and have extra freezers on hand in the case of an equipment failure. Plus, with all those freezers available, they never have to choose between archiving old samples and storing new ones due to limited space.
You Need Material Stored at Different Temperatures
Freezers are expensive, they take up a lot of space, require large amounts of electricity, maintenance and air conditioning. Many laboratories lack the resources to purchase and store multiple large freezers for material held at different temperatures. Biological storage facilities are dedicated to solving this problem. They offer nearly unlimited freezer space across any combination of temperatures.
You Need Stringent Inventory Control and Records
Some samples and products require strictly controlled personnel access and detailed record keeping. In a biological storage facility all material and boxes are bar coded so that location, temperature, and the status of a given sample is known at all times. Access to material is tightly controlled. Only authorized personnel are able to handle sensitive materials and detailed records are kept anytime a sample is accessed or used.
Your Material Cannot be Easily Replaced
Whether dealing with earthquakes or flooding, tornadoes or a fire, a disaster that affects the facility infrastructure is every laboratory’s’ worst nightmare. Emergencies aside, freezers on campuses run the risk of losing power in an outage, being left open by a distracted employee, or even being unplugged by cleaning staff. Equipment can be insured, but years of hard work could be lost forever if samples are damaged. Off-site storage facilities offer increased peace of mind for laboratories located in high risk areas, and for labs with samples that cannot be easily replaced in the event of an accident. Biostorage facilities have a full contingency plan in place to ensure the safety of biological material.
Storing biological materials can be a stressful ordeal for programs of any size when samples or products have unique needs. By outsourcing biological storage, you can rest assured the biological materials are being properly cared for, protecting years of hard work and invaluable samples.