Scanning and decoding tube racks from low-temperature storage

Published: 25-Nov-2022

Ziath has published an easy-to-follow video guide to help scientists and technicians scan and decode sample tube racks direct from low-temperature storage — especially when withdrawn from vapour phase liquid nitrogen tanks

The “remove ice, blotting and scanning” protocol takes less than 30 seconds per rack.

The tracking and tracing of samples is known to be improved by integrating tube rack scanners to record the movements of 2D-barcoded tube racks throughout the laboratory.

This reduces the accidental loss of samples when transferred from rack to rack — a common cause of errors in modern sample management systems. Scanning sample tube racks straight from low-temperature storage can, however, 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. To address this problem, Ziath has developed a proprietary “cryoprotection” coating for its scanners and readers to stop this fogging from occurring.

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

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 across the rack surface, it will not heat up and potentially degrade thermally sensitive samples.

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

The video guide is available here.

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