BioCision Announces Industry’s First Automated Biospecimen Thawing System
Product News Nov 12, 2014
BioCision, LLC has announced the availability of ThawSTAR™ automated sample thawing system, a breakthrough technology that addresses the “last mile” in the cryopreservation process. Utilizing the patent-pending STAR™ adaptive sensing technology for rapid and standardized thawing and recovery of cells and other biospecimens, ThawSTAR system tailors the thaw cycle to the specific characteristics of each frozen sample.
Consistent with BioCision’s objective to standardize important workflows, the ThawSTAR™ technology platform represents another industry first and sets a new standard for how cells and cell-based products and therapies are thawed. The result of a 12-month development cycle, the patent-pending ThawSTAR technology integrates multiple detection algorithms to ensure uniform thermal profiles and reproducible recovery of the frozen contents, eliminating the subjectivity found in conventional thaw methods that rely on human interpretation, such as swirling sample vials in water baths, rolling vials between hands and other crude methods. Each of these outdated methods carries a high level of risk for temperature variation and sample contamination, important considerations in the development and preparation of cells including cell therapy drugs and other biologics.
“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,” said Dr. Rolf Ehrhardt, PhD, BioCision CEO. “These methods are subjective and unstandardized, potentially jeopardizing the integrity and safety of the sample. Our new ThawSTAR™ sample thawing system is the first to eliminate the guesswork, offering an unprecedented level of control and standardization to this critical step in the cryopreservation process.”
Like other BioCision products, ThawSTAR™ sample thawing system is an intuitive, error-free method for achieving reproducible thawing and recovery results. Users will simply insert a frozen vial and retrieve it when the vial is gently raised at the end of the thaw cycle. The automatic release of the vial coupled with built-in audio and visual alarms allow users to retrieve thawed vials for downstream processing and minimize risk of toxicity from cryopreservatives, such as DMSO. ThawSTAR thawing system was engineered to deliver results similar to those achieved when thawing a frozen vial in a 37C water bath, but with reproducibility and standardization built in. Its small footprint enables easy incorporation into a laboratory or clinical setting with ease.
“Our GMP protocols call for thawing of cells every 60 days from a Master Bank,” said Helen Huls, Laboratory Manager of Pediatric Research at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. “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, recognize time savings and enforce sterile operating conditions."
"BioCision is a very innovative company and once we heard about the new cell thawer, we were really eager to try it out for thawing PBMCs from our viral repository,” said Mars Stone, PhD , Staff Scientist at Blood Systems Research Institute. “When using a water bath to thaw there is always a risk of contamination, and we were keen to have a more reproducible cell thawing method. The ThawSTAR solves all of our concerns and we can even use it in the hood which improves our cryopreservation workflow.”
BioCision will feature ThawSTAR™ sample thawing system at the upcoming American Society for Cell Biology meeting in Philadelphia, PA December 6-10, booth number 725.