March 1, 2003
Refrigerators and chillersBy Carren BerschLaboratory refrigerators and chillers serve an essential role in preserving cultures and media, which may need different environments. Appropriate temperatures are necessary for these, as well as for reagents, chemicals, and blood and blood components. The function of these units is covered in strict OSHA regulations, and laboratories must comply with federal standards. Refrigerators and chillers also must be cared for properly in order to ensure that they work to capacity. Adequate airflow is necessary to guarantee that stored specimens do not deteriorate and that the cost of operation is not inflated. When selecting a unit for your laboratory, make sure that its proximity to the workstation is taken into consideration. Specimens may sit longer than they should if the refrigerator or chiller is not convenient for the laboratorian. Here is a brief sampling of the coolest products that might be just the answer for your lab.Low-cost refrigerators/freezers
Medical laboratory refrigeration needs do not have to break the budget. All Daigger units feature white, easy-to-clean exteriors, white ABS plastic cabinet liners, dial temperature controls and foam insulation for efficient and quiet operation. Six different capacities are available to best match cold-storage requirements. Models come with either low-maintenance automatic defrost or manual defrost for temperature sensitive samples. Backed by a one-year parts and labor warranty on the entire unit and a five-year parts and labor warranty on the refrigeration system, 22-cubic-foot models run around $1,150.Model 2495A Daigger Laboratory Equipment & critical storage demands 
With a 55-cubic-foot capacity and a redundant refrigeration system, the Jewett BBR55T blood bank refrigerator provides high-level capacity and temperature security for critical storage applications. Temperature control via a solid-state electronic controller is pre-set at 4C. Measuring 59x83x36, with 12 drawers, the BBR55T features dual mechanical systems, each offering complete cooling capabilities, rapid recovery times and safe, effective back-up. Designed to meet AABB, ANRC and FDA requirements, it incorporates the HemaPro 2000 storage monitoring system for simultaneous display of upper and lower temperatures, high and low temperature alarms, battery back-up, a serial port for data export to a PC, and a built-in event log. Its stainless steel interior with rounded corners makes for easy cleaning. Jewett BBR55TJewett Inc. refrigerators
Precision Scientific reintroduces its line of laboratory refrigerators with an updated design. These reliable, low-cost refrigerators feature hinged-glass doors and internal duplex electrical outlets. The polished aluminum chambers feature coved corners and an interior drain to eliminate moisture build-up. Temperature is shown on a convenient digital display located near the top of the unit. These refrigerators are available in a single-door, 25-cubic-foot model and a double-door, 50-cubic-foot model. All units are both UL and c-UL listed, and can be purchased with an optional chart recorder or communications kit for temperature monitoring according to cGMP, cGLP or CLIA standards.Models 190IG (left) and 375IGJouan Inc. for Precision and reliability
NuAires freezers are constructed of heavy-gauge, cold-rolled steel with special V-groove gasketing providing a positive seal. The company uses CFC-free and HFC-free refrigerants with its special mixture of azeotropic gases, making maintenance easier and less expensive, while allowing recharging practices to remain the same and recycling on site. Microprocessor control precision and an automatic alarm system offer activation of both audible and visual alarms when the temperature deviates 10oC from set point. A remote alarm contact and a continuous charge battery back-up provide alarm functions if power is lost. The interior temperature maintains stable refrigeration to -86oC (-123oF) at an ambient temp of 32oC (90oF). and vaccine storage
The versatile Forma pharmacy refrigerators and freezers line is suitable for the clinical laboratorys needs. Developed especially for the optimum storage of vaccines and pharmaceuticals, these products control and maintain precise temperature to ensure the safety and efficacy of vital medical supplies and samples. As opposed to conventional food storage refrigerators, Forma pharmacy refrigerators incorporate expertly designed controls, a mechanically circulated air system, rugged cabinet construction and an air-cooled refrigeration system. A variety of accessories and services is offered, including equipment installation, validation, alarm monitoring and extended warranties. Forma pharmacy timesaving automation
The majority of lab refrigerators do not connect to lab instruments; they are standalones. Refrigerated and nonrefrigerated stockyards can attach to a labs automation line, so that the lab technologist no longer has to transport samples to the refrigerator. The system can do it automatically. Two stockyard hardware modules can connect to the companys Power Processor automated sample-processing system. This clinical lab robotics system automatically performs sample login, cap removal, barcode reading and centrifugation, as well as sorts and maps sample tubes while maintaining continuous operation during rack rotation. The stockyard modules allow the automation system to quickly locate samples for reflex tests, repeats and add-ons, and includes a refrigerated stockyard accommodating up to 3,060 samples.Refrigerated stockyard moduleBeckman Coulter Bersch is managing editor of
March 2003: Vol. 35, No. 3
© 2003 Nelson Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.