Hospitals store various samples of tissues
under cryogenic conditions for further analysis, tests or
research. There may be tens of thousands of such samples stored
in a liquid nitrogen freezer.
a sample out of the freezer must be done quickly, with high
precision and extreme care. Special gloves must be worn, and
its not recommended to open and close the freezer too
often. Any body part touched by liquid nitrogen will be destroyed
The freezers are built in a thick stainless
steel enclosure and are organized in towers and boxes. Each
box can hold a number of vials (eg. 100), each tower has a
number of boxes (eg. 20) and each freezer contains a number
of towers (eg. 20).
tough conditions almost impose the requirement of managing
the contents of such freezers on the computer.
computer programs must meet the following requirements:
efficient handling tens of thousands of vials
efficient and flexible searching
various types of boxes, towers and freezers
represent boxes of various shapes (triangular, square/rectangular,
with precision the place in a box of a sought sample
samples by various research criteria (like common orgin,
common medical condition, common treatment, etc.)
quick user interface (users dont like to wait forever
until a box is drawn on the screen)
Our software allows easy management of vials stored under
cryogenic temperatures in hospital labs and meets all the
above requirements plus more:
- Smart rendering algorithms allow us to draw a freezer
box almost instantly (see box layout screen image in the
- Smart database storage and indexing techniques allow us
to find a vial out a million in a few seconds
- Intuitive user interface brings the learning curve down
to less than 2 hours
- With our powerful searching feature finding homozygotes
or heterozygotes among millions of vials is a snap (see
search screen image in the right sidebar)
How it works
system has no knowledge at the beginning of any freezer. The
user enters each freezers parameters: name, location,
number of towers, boxes, vials per box, box shape, shape parameters,
a freezer is in the system, the user can enter/modify vials
on a box by box basis. For data that needs to be transferred
from other systems, we can easily develop import routines
using the powerful DTS (Data Transformation Services) feature
of the underlying database server.
user can then search for a vial based on diagnosis, source/patient,
other conditions. Homo/hetero-zygotes can be easily identified
data and finding a vial is very intuitive. Grouping by source,
patient relatives, medical condition or related conditions
can be done.
graphical tree view of the freezers in an organization, of
the towers and boxes in each freezer allow the user to easily
navigate through the huge amount of information stored on
rich reporting engine allows the user to print reports at
pretty much every step. Box layouts, lists of common conditions,
samples of the same type, etc. can be generated with a mouse
freezer information is stored in a SQL Server database for
speed and reliability. For small sites an SQL engine can be
supplied free of charge.
The system has been successfully implemented
at the Womens and Childrens Hospital in Adelaide
with very good results and increased staff satisfaction by
orders of magnitude.
We don't write our software,
we craft it!