Given the expense and effort required for maintaining on-site sample storage, it is a practical decision to delegate the responsibility of storing biological samples to an external provider.Infrastructure, equipment, and personnel to keep invaluable and often irreplaceable biospecimens safe are major expenses for an organization. These procedures require validated temperature monitoring systems, redundant backup power, quality management systems, security and safety policies in addition to trained staff. Fortunately, there is an alternative to managing onsite biosample storage.
Biorepositories specialize in safely maintaining biological samples, meaning their infrastructure is already in place and ready to store samples. On the other hand, if your team needs an onsite storage system, you must plan for the purchase price of the equipment as well as the respective installation costs. It may even require a significant alteration to the facility layout to accommodate the new equipment. Your organization will also be responsible for the ongoing costs, such as increased energy usage and resources to keep the machines operational. Depending on how long the samples need to be stored, equipment maintenance and replacement costs could increase. However, when your company can outsource storage to a reputable biostorage facility, it will forego these massive upfront costs and instead pass maintenance and upkeep of equipment to the storage facility. The biological sample storage facility will also be responsible for employing expert technicians who maintain and monitor the storage units.
It’s important to consider natural disasters that could occur and result in damage to the vital and costly storage equipment and materials themselves. If your organization is located in an area that is prone to flooding or seismic activity that could seriously compromise the integrity of the samples. Creating backup systems that will work in the event of a disaster could be prohibitively difficult to install and maintain. Instead, your organization’s samples could be stored in a safer place with added measures that keep inventory safe. An established biostorage facility will have built-in redundancies, like diesel generators that can operate during power outages.
Range of Temperatures
Understanding the optimal storage temperature for your samples and selecting the appropriate solution can greatly impact the sample’s ability to remain viable during biological sample storage. Failing to keep the appropriate temperatures will reduce the quality of the samples. Storage conditions can range from ambient to cryogenic with temperatures at 4°C, -20°C, -80°C, and -196°C. Choosing a storage facility with the different conditions you need provides you with a single location to keep all of your samples.
Choosing the Right Facility
There are many benefits to storing biosamples in a storage facility. However, it can be difficult to entrust such delicate and important samples to an outside entity. Thoroughly vetting the different facility options can help ensure comfort and confidence, but that requires knowing the qualities you should be looking for in a commercial biological sample storage facility. One of the most important qualities a biostorage facility can provide is security. Preserving the viability and integrity of samples requires a secure facility that is transparent about the multiple layers of protection in place from both outside sources and employees within. A high-quality facility must also be able to meet the temperature requirements for each unique sample, especially in the event of a major disaster that can affect nitrogen supply and power reliability. Because the samples must be transported to the storage facility and their temperature needs must still be met, the best storage facilities will also have strong cold-chain logistics services. This involves a fleet of temperature-controlled trucks that can be trusted to safely move your company’s samples between facilities and storage as needed.
Biosample Storage With GenVault
At GenVault, we meet all of the crucial requirements for a quality biostorage facility and are fully compliant with FDA, GLP, GMP, GDP, and ISBER operational standards. We were also designed by industry experts to be one of the nation’s most secure commercial biorepositories. We created our facility to reduce, if not eliminate, any failures that could affect the quality of biological materials. Contact us today to see how we can help reduce your organization’s total capital expenses this year by outsourcing biological sample storage.