Ziath has posted a new video that provides an easy-to-follow guide to assist scientists and technicians scanning and decoding sample tube racks direct from low temperature storage, especially when withdrawn from vapor phase liquid nitrogen tanks. The remove ice, blotting, and scanning protocol is demonstrated to take less than 30 seconds per rack.

The tracking and tracing of samples is well known to be improved by integrating tube rack scanners to record movements of 2D-barcoded tube racks throughout the laboratory process. This reduces the accidental loss of samples when transferred from rack to rack—a common cause of errors even in modern sample management systems. However, scanning sample tube racks, directly retrieved from low temperature storage, can 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 which has been cooled by the application of the cold rack. To address this problem, Ziath has developed a proprietary “cryoprotection” coating for its scanners and readers to stop this fogging from occurring.

By comparison, with scanning devices using standard glass, cold tube racks will cause a layer of condensate to form across the surface of the untreated glass. This typically can 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 over 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 designed to be easy to use, reliable, and robust and are widely employed by organizations worldwide for biobanking, compound management, covid-19 sample testing, and many other sample tracking and tracing applications.

For more information, visit Ziath