US-based life science research and development firm BioCision has launched ThawSTAR automated sample thawing system designed to address the last mile in the cryopreservation process.
Using the patent-pending STAR sensing technology, the ThawSTAR system tailors the thaw cycle to the specific characteristics of each frozen sample.
The company claims that the ThawSTAR technology platform sets a new standard for how cells and cell-based therapies are thawed.
This technology integrates multiple detection algorithms to ensure uniform thermal profiles and reproducible recovery of the frozen contents.
It reduces the subjectivity found in conventional thaw methods that rely on human interpretation, such as swirling frozen vials in water baths, rolling vials between hands and other crude methods.
According to the company, each of these outdated methods carries a high level of risk for temperature variation and sample contamination, which are important considerations in the preparation of cells, including cell therapy drugs.
BioCision CEO Dr Rolf Ehrhardt said: "Today, many researchers and clinicians rely on improvised methods such as manually immersing vials in a water bath and visually monitoring ice crystals to determine if the vial contents are properly thawed.
"These methods are subjective and unstandardised, potentially jeopardising the integrity and safety of the sample.
"Our new ThawSTAR system is the first to eliminate the guesswork, offering an unprecedented level of control and standardisation to this critical step in the cryopreservation process."
The ThawSTAR sample thawing system is an intuitive, error-free method for achieving reproducible thawing and recovery results. It is similar to the company’s other products.
With the automatic release of the vial coupled with built-in audio and visual, users will be able to quickly retrieve thawed vials for downstream processing to reduce risk of toxicity from cryopreservatives, such as DMSO.
The system was engineered to deliver results similar to those achieved when thawing in a 37C water bath, but with reproducibility and standardisation built in.
Laboratory manager of pediatric research at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Helen Huls said: "Our GMP protocols call for thawing of cells every 60 days from a master bank.
"Use of a water bath within a GMP facility is highly discouraged due to contamination concerns.
"Incorporation of a ThawSTAR thawing system into our protocols allows us to streamline our workflow, recognise time savings and enforce sterile operating conditions."