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Precision Tracking of Samples Enabled at Low Temperatures

By Labmedica International staff writers
Posted on 28 Feb 2012
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Image: Each vial is tagged with a unique RFID identifier. The RFID tag is integrated into the vial – it cannot be removed, or fall off inadvertently (Photo courtesy of Biotillion).
Image: Each vial is tagged with a unique RFID identifier. The RFID tag is integrated into the vial – it cannot be removed, or fall off inadvertently (Photo courtesy of Biotillion).
A new solution enables real-time (RT) precision tracking of samples in situ at low temperatures.

Difficulties in tracking samples are due to the inability to locate automatically the samples, as well as a lack of robust connection between the physical sample and archiving software. The task is further complicated at ultra low temperatures.

The ColdTrack platform was designed to solve these problems. The platform enables electronic tracking by associating a unique electronic tag with each sample, enabling fast mapping of sample boxes.
Tens of millions of new biological samples are collected and stored annually by pharmaceutic companies, universities, hospitals, diagnostic testing and research centers, national genetic databases, and forensic laboratories.

BioTillion (Skillman, NJ, USA), a privately held company, introduced the ColdTrack platform at the SLAS 2012 meeting in San Diego (CA, USA), which was held in February 2012.

Each ColdTrack sample vial has unique radio frequency identification (RFID) tag that cannot be changed or replicated in another, and contains user-defined data that may be modified by a user. The RFID-tagged vials survive exposure to a wide range of temperatures: from liquid nitrogen temperatures (-196 °C) up to the maximum operating temperature of the vial (121 °C) without loss of data or functionality.

A freezer box is mapped by placing the box containing one or more ColdTrack vials on a BoxMapper. The BoxMapper can map the contents of an 81-sample freezer box in about a second. The reader is connected to a computer using a USB cable.

The BoxMapper is integrated with a group of laboratory information-management systems (LIMS) packages. The details of the CDR-LIMS interaction is slightly different for each LIMS package but in all cases the box contents are transferred to the LIMS program automatically so that the user does not need to enter vial IDs or box locations.

Related Links:
SLAS 2012 meeting

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Image: Sysmex XE-5000 automated hematology analyzer (Photo courtesy of Sysmex Corporation).

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