The Role of ULT Freezers in the Pharma Cold Chain

The Role of ULT Freezers in the Pharma Cold Chain

Cold storage is essential for several types of industries. Try to picture healthcare, pharmacy, or biotechnology without adequate equipment for specimen storage – it’s practically impossible to carry out any research without it.  When we talk about low temperature in these cases, we often mean ultra-low, i.e., temperatures between -40 and -122.8 °F. That’s why organizations use ULT (ultra-low temperature) freezers to store their materials.

Some substances require more specific conditions than others, such as tissue samples, drugs, various biological materials, etc. In other words, they’re temperature-sensitive. Hence, this technology provides the ideal environment for these and other similar specimens. With the recent COVID-19 pandemic, ULT freezers have become pivotal in the supply chain of mRNA-based vaccines. For more info, check this website.

General Application

The healthcare industry is dependent on this technology for obvious reasons. Institutes for medical and microbiological research, hospitals, transfusion centers, and blood banks deal with sensitive substances that require deep freezing to preserve their qualities. The same applies to laboratories, especially when testing chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

The mRNA we already mentioned, antibody proteins, cells, and tissues – these materials can be easily damaged by heat. ULT freezers serve to protect them from losing their natural structures. For instance, if we don’t freeze protein samples, the heat will lead to denaturation and cell death. As you can see, constant temperature is one of the chief factors for keeping biomaterials intact.

Not all freezers use the same technology. Some models rely on compressors and cooling loops to maintain a low temperature, but they use up a lot of electricity, which, along with the excessive heat and noise, can create some trouble. More modern freezers employ free-piston engines and are considered far more efficient. Also, the light weight makes the whole transportation process much easier.

What Do ULT Freezers Offer?

Thanks to the improved technology, freezers conserve much more energy than before. They also radiate less heat, and are the noise levels are generally much lower. Therefore, the lower energy consumption saves quite a lot of money, white the quiet operations never distract the staff, allowing them to focus on the research.

Industries can lose thousands of dollars by using faulty equipment, and companies nowadays can’t afford to commit errors with vaccines and other valuable lab products. ULT freezers provide safety even for the most delicate lab samples. They also include features like the silicone gasket (protection from power failure and heat leaks) and quick temperature recovery in case of open doors.

Security is yet another advantage. Some freezers will use alarms to warn against unauthorized use, authorized keycards, or even fingerprint scanning. Lab samples are precious to researchers, and ensuring their safety is always a high priority. Also, freezers come in different sizes to fit any laboratory and usually have adjustable inside structures. Go to to learn more.

Some companies employ alternative methods such as dry ice to preserve their samples; however, ULT freezers are considered superior for several different reasons. They require minimal protective equipment, such as regular gloves. Next, they allow precise temperature control and reduce the risks for the operating staff significantly. They are also highly versatile: you can get an upright, under-bench, or table-top, according to your working space.

Maintenance Tips

An ultra-low temperature freezer, like any other cooling device of its kind, is susceptible to ice and frost buildup. It helps to scrape away ice layers at least every few weeks, wipe the gaskets with a cloth, and check gaskets and door seals on every opening.

The same applies to dust. Namely, it will impair the freezer’s performance if it accumulates on the condenser filter. By dusting regularly and preventing frost from building up, you keep your equipment in top shape and avoid replacing parts too early.

Preserving the Pharma Cold Chain

The supply chain that requires low temperatures is known as the cold chain. It’s used to maximize the shelf-life of different products, from chemicals and pharmaceuticals to frozen food and agriculture. This is also called cool cargo. As you can imagine, it’s much more delicate and demanding than other products, requiring constant supervision and excellent cold storage to avoid losses.

You can imagine how relevant an issue this is in the pharmaceutical industry. In fact, perhaps the biggest challenge in a pharma cold chain is to keep medicine doses safe and effective over long periods. For this reason, regular ULT freezers were considered a poor choice for quite a long time: they’re massive, noisy, and simply impractical for everyday use.

Fortunately, now you can safely distribute medicine to the remotest rural areas thanks to small-sized ULT appliances, perfectly convenient for transportation. They can do everything a regular ULT freezer does, and just as effectively. Precise temperature control, adaptability to different voltages, logging and monitoring vaccine temperatures give clinicians a highly reliable storage option that results in faster treatment and healthier patients.

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