When it comes to storing biological samples and other temperature sensitive specimen’s, researchers put all their trust into their cold storage equipment. Their greatest fear is returning to the lab the next day only to find their temperature controlled units have failed rendering all specimens, tissues and other samples compromised and no longer valuable.
Imagine years of research and hard work gone in the blink of an eye. A similar scenario happened in June 2012 at the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center (HBTRC) at McLean Hospital. The study was the Autism Tissue Program (ATP,) one of the largest studies done on autism. Families of deceased loved ones with autism donated their brains to science to better understand the disorder. Unfortunately, due to a freezer malfunction 53 brain samples thawed, jeopardizing the entire research program and setting them back many years. Research instantly gone, the study compromised and families left with unanswered questions.
How can we avoid a devastating situation like this in the future?
Panasonic Low Temp Freezers offer peace of mind when it comes to leaving the fate of your research in the hands of your equipment. Their innovative refrigeration systems provide total protection for your most precious samples. Each Panasonic freezer is constructed with security in mind, offering built in audible and visual alarms to alert staff when a unit’s performance is abnormal or could potentially fail. Below is a list of all the available alarm features offered on all of Panasonics Low Temp Freezers:
- High/Low Temperature Alarm: This alarm will trigger when freezers chamber temperature rises above or below the set ambient temperature range. Checked in 15 minute intervals.
- Door Alarm: If a units door is left open for over 2 minutes the door lamp will illuminate alerting the user to close the door.
- Filter Alarm: If freezers filter becomes expired the filter lamp will illuminate and audible alarms will alert the user to change the filter.
- Power failure Alarm: Once the ULT freezers experience power failure the alarm lamp blinks, an audible alarm goes off recurrently and a remote alarm contact outputs.
- Remote Alarm: The connection point for use that allows for an outside alarm system that notifies lab personnel on their electronic device when an issue is wrong with their equipment.
- Notice of Battery Life: Roughly after 3 years the battery will expire which in return will light up the battery lamp.
- Notice of Fan Motor Life: Roughly after 6 years the fan motor expires which in return will cause the battery lamp to blink.
- Status alert function
- Status 1: Ambient temperature sensor will predict and alert users if the surrounding environment of the refrigerator unit falls colder than 0°C or rises warmer than +35°C.
- Status 2: If the power supply voltage of the unit is operating at 15% lower than the rated voltage, the unit will signal an alert user that the power supply is abnormal.
- Status 3: If a unit runs at a rate of 95% or more in the low stage compressor than the unit diagnoses that it’s operating in overload.
But if you’re away from the lab how will you hear the alarm?
Once a unit triggers one of the mentioned alarms, any Panasonic freezer can be linked to their innovative LabAlert system which will alert the user even when away from the laboratory. This feature is simple, convenient, and secure. Simple, in the fact it’s an advanced concept yet easy to set up and very user friendly. Convenient, because
monitoring your lab can be done at any location as long as an electronic device is handy. Secure, because it’s customizable and allows for specific triggers that can alert you when something goes wrong.
In addition, LabAlert is on watch 24/7 and will notify your electronic device with an instant message when any irregularities happen. LabAlert, although simplistic to use, utilizes innovative, accurate software that can potentially save all your research from a devastating experience like Harvard once experienced.
References: Boother, John. "How Temperature Monitoring Works." Lab Manager. N.p., 9 Mar. 2013. www.google.com. Web. 18 Dec. 2015. <http://www.labmanager.com/how-it-works/2013/03/temperature-monitoring#.VnR5dPkrKCh> Dawson, Geri. "Harvard Brain Bank: A Letter from our CSO." Autism Speaks. google.com, 11 June 2012. Web. 18 Dec. 2015.<https://www.autismspeaks.org/science/science-news/harvard-brain-bank-letter our-cso>