Technical Briefs

Design of a New Portable Cryostorage Device

[+] Author and Article Information
R. V. Devireddy

e-mail: devireddy@me.lsu.edu
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Louisiana State University,
Baton Rouge, LA 70803

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received February 22, 2012; final manuscript received October 17, 2012; published online February 4, 2013. Review conducted by Erol Sancaktar.

J. Med. Devices 7(1), 014501 (Feb 04, 2013) (8 pages) Paper No: MED-12-1023; doi: 10.1115/1.4023275 History: Received February 22, 2012; Revised October 17, 2012

The currently available cryostorage systems are cumbersome to operate and offer little in the way of sample storage flexibility and user-friendliness. The aim is to redesign and fabricate a user-friendly portable storage system with monitoring capabilities for storage of cryopreserved biological samples for use in a small research laboratory setting. The proposed system consists of two concentric cylinders, between which a vacuum layer provides a thermal barrier and is similar to existing systems. More importantly, to improve sample accessibility and sample retrieval time, a new suspended tower design was developed while an instrumentation backpack provides housing for the monitoring systems. The new suspended tower design for holding the frozen biological samples is designed to hold traditional cryovials (1.5 ml and/or 1.2 ml or 1.5 × 10−6 m3 and/or 1.2 × 10−6 m3) and can also be modified to hold larger T-flasks, if required. The instrumentation consists of a capacitance based liquid level sensor, level monitor, and transmitter. The designed system is capable of holding ∼430 cryovials and holds ∼50 l (0.05 m3) of liquid nitrogen and requires refilling approximately every four to five weeks.

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Fig. 1

A compilation of existing cryostorage devices: (A) MVE Cryosystem's Millennium 2000 has an excellent coolant retention rate (0.095 L/day or 9.5 × 10−5 m3/day evaporation rate), holds 125 vial shaped samples but difficult to remove and replace racks of samples; (B) Taylor–Wharton XT21-AI is almost identical in design to (A) and is designed for rugged field use in equestrian sample collections; (C) Thermo Scientific BioCane Systems are similar in design to (A) and (B). They do incorporate a moveable tower rack handle unlike (A) and (B). (D) Artiko Cryoporter uses a reverse Sterling engineer to act as a refrigerator, does not require liquid nitrogen, is electrically powered with LCD display for monitoring/alerts but is only capable of storing samples at –80  °C (193 K) or above; (E) Optimum Technologies BioArchive uses a sophisticated and complex computerized system but costs significantly higher than devices shown in (A)–(D); (F) Statebourne Cryogenic’s Biostor 5 is similar to (A) and (C) except that it has a much larger access port simplifying user-accessibility but suffers from a much higher liquid nitrogen evaporation rate.

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Fig. 2

All components are manufactured with aluminum 6061-T6

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Fig. 3

All components are manufactured with aluminum 6061-T6 and stainless steel 304 L

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Fig. 4

Instrumentation for liquid level measurement in the cryostorage tank (A). This subsystem consists of a capacitance level sensor and transmitter (B), and a liquid level monitor (C).




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