White Paper: Labeling Best Practices for Biobanks

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About This White Paper

This white paper is intended for anyone working in or managing a biobank or biorepository seeking a reliable way of identifying and tracking biological specimens. Samples collected, processed, and stored by biobanks typically require long-term cryogenic storage in liquid nitrogen or ultra-low temperature freezers and a comprehensive tracking and management system that makes search and retrieval quick and easy.

This white paper reviews the industry’s best labeling practices regarding label selection, printed information, and tracking software. All recommendations made in the white paper are further supported by the 4th edition of ISBER’s biobank recommendations and associated addendum on cryogenic storage.

Why Cryo Labeling is Critical for Biobanks

Biobanks and biorepositories collect and store various biological specimens, all of which need to be accurately identified, tracked, and stored under extreme cryogenic conditions, often for extended periods. These samples must be clearly identified so that a biobank’s inventory of samples can be continuously tracked and samples quickly retrieved when needed. However, storage in liquid nitrogen can adversely affect the labels and their printout. As such, choosing the right cryogenic label solution is imperative for proper sample management.

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Choosing the Right Cryogenic Label Solution

Labels used to identify specimen stored by biorepositories must be expressly resistant to low temperature conditions. However, these cryo labels may also need to resist other laboratory conditions they might experience during processing and storage. As such, the various environments and conditions encountered by the specimen should be taken into account when choosing the appropriate cryogenic label. The type of storage container and printed information should also be considered, as specialized labels might be required for specific specimen, with barcodes needed for tracking. In addition, the printing method can also affect the reliability of your labels and printout and must also be considered.

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LabTAG, a division of GA International, is a manufacturer of specialty labels and a provider of label printing equipment and services. For over 20 years we have been serving the life science industries, supplying laboratory identification solutions to biomedical research labs, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, hospitals, and other healthcare institutions. With an intense focus on R&D and customer service, we are committed to providing high-quality products and services, developed for specific applications, available worldwide and on time. Our team of experienced scientists understands the lab technologies and identification requirements needed in the industry, therefore providing an excellent, personalized service.