Some samples are too precious for over-stuffed, easy-access freezers. Fortunately, modified freezers that provide sample security and added features will soon be available. Charlottesville, Va.-based Biophile Inc. has modified -40°C and -80°C freezers to allow restricted sample access while offering rapid, automated sample storage and retrieval.

The company's Sample Process Management System is expected to become available in spring 2002. The system is based on standard upright Harris™ freezers, which the manufacturer has modified by incorporating two 1.5 horsepower, semi-hermetic compressors to ensure temperature stability. The freezers have a footprint of 25 cubic feet, or enough space for nearly 1,000 standard microtiter plates.

Each sample can be a standard or deep-well microtiter plate, or a box of microcentrifuge tubes. To access samples, an investigator uses a touch-screen interface on the freezer door, or connects remotely from a networked personal computer. To add new samples, the user places the sample on...

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