Scanning & Decoding Tube Racks Direct from Low Temperature Storage

Ziath has posted a new video that provides an easy-to-follow guide to assist scientists and technicians scanning and decoding sample tube racks direct from low temperature storage, especially when withdrawn from vapour phase liquid nitrogen tanks. The remove ice, blotting and scanning protocol is demonstrated to take less than 30 seconds per rack.

Demonstration of protocol to scan and decode sample tube racks direct from the freezer.

The tracking and tracing of samples is well known to be improved by integrating tube rack scanners to record movements of 2D-barcoded tube racks throughout the laboratory process. This reduces the accidental loss of samples when transferred from rack to rack – a common cause of errors even in modern sample management systems. However scanning sample tube racks, directly retrieved from low temperature storage, can be problematic.

Commonly 2D-barcoded tube racks retrieved straight from the freezer will ‘fog’ the scanner or reader glass as condensation forms on the surface which has been cooled by the application of the cold rack. To address this problem – Ziath has developed a proprietary “cryoprotection” coating for its scanners and readers to stop this fogging from occurring.

By comparison, with scanning devices using standard glass, cold tube racks will cause a layer of condensate to form across the surface of the untreated glass. This typically can lead to problems in resolving and accurately decoding the 2D barcodes on the underside of the tubes.

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Another advantage of Ziath’s cryoprotection coating, which is available as an option on all their tube readers and scanners, is that unlike physical methods, such as blowing heated air over the rack surface, it will not heat up and potentially degrade thermally sensitive samples.

The scanner on the left has cryoprotection, whereas that on the right uses standard glass. The cold rack has caused a layer of condensate on the untreated glass.

Ziath’s range of 2D barcoded tube scanners and rack readers from are easy to use, reliable, robust and widely employed by organizations worldwide for biobanking, compound management, COVID-19 sample testing and many other sample tracking and tracing applications.

To watch the new video guide please visit https://youtu.be/UJhEICRjHtI. For further information on scanning and decoding tube racks direct from low temperature storage please visit https://ziath.com/products/barcode-scanning/cryoprotection or contact Ziath on +44-1223-855021 / +1-858-880-6920 / info@ziath.com.

Founded in 2005, Ziath specialises in development of innovative instrumentation control and information management products using 2D Data Matrix bar-coded tubes to simplify automation processes in life science organisations, from academia, to the biotech and pharma industries.

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Ziath Ltd specialises in instrumentation control and information management in both the academic and the pharmaceutical/biotech industry sectors with a specialisation in the application of laboratory automation. We focus on managing large sample libraries in biobanking, biotech, public health and compound management using 2D data matrix bar-coded tubes. Ziath produce both rack readers and tube pickers for 2D tubes in racks. We are world leader in 2D-barcoded tube and rack scanners, with a large range of CMOS-camera based scanners than any other manufacturer. We design, build and maintain all our own scanners and picking devices in our Cambridge UK facility. We support our customers with free applications advice, after-sales support and upgrades to their scanners as well as a comprehensive five-year parts and three-year labour warranty.