Sample management solution

Ziath, a Azenta Life Sciences company, has launched a new solution for cryogenic sample management, the Ri-Track Mirage 2D barcoded tube whole rack reader.

Traditionally, identifying the identity of frost-covered racks of 2D barcoded tubes taken from low temperature storage has been a time-consuming and error prone process. Drawing upon proprietary Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tagging technology, the Ri-Track Mirage can reliably read 2D barcoded racks covered in ice and with racks taken directly from vapour-phase liquid nitrogen storage. The need to warm a rack to thaw it out, which may degrade thermally sensitive samples, to read the identity of a sample rack is eliminated.

Extensive testing has shown that Ri-Track RFID technology can withstand immersion and retrieval from vapour phase liquid nitrogen more than 10,000 times without losing any stored data or showing any physical degradation. Ri-Track is therefore suitable for all forms of traceable long-term cryogenic sample storage.

The tags last and function for the whole life of racks, lowering cost of ownership and increasing return on investment. Beneficially the system has been designed for use with standard laboratory consumables. There is no need to buy expensive dedicated racks. Just insert a Ri-Track tag into an existing SBS-format rack using an easy-to-use tag insertion tool. The tags fit snugly and securely into the internal space of almost any moulded SBS format tube racks.

Ri-Track data is initially stored to the tag in a matter of seconds using a Ziath Mirage camera-based rack reader fitted with the Ri-Track antenna module, which can also read back data from the tag. Following this initial data storage, the Android or Apple DP5 Ri-Track App on an NFC-equipped phone will allow the tag information to be read and the data displayed making it easy to identify any individual tube in the frozen rack together with its location and full identity.

Reading cryogenic racks is now as simple as opening the freezer and withdrawing a rack, then offering it up to a smartphone to see all the available tubes in that rack. This advance eliminates the need to bring cold racks back to the lab for reading. Using the Pick List function of the app, tubes from several different racks can be checked-off right in front of the freezer, again saving valuable technician time.

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