Setting the Stage for Sample Management Success

By Kate Meola, Regional Marketing Manager, Eppendorf North America

It’s critical that laboratory samples are kept safe. They represent thousands of invested dollars and countless hours of hard work.

Much of a sample’s life is spent stored at a constant temperature in an ultra-low-temperature freezer. Typically, DNA, RNA, proteins, mammalian cells, bacteria, and other cells are stored at -80° to -86° Celsius. Protecting your samples during long-term storage requires a vessel that is optimized for cold storage conditions and offers safe and reliable identification.

Many labs struggle with sample management and use inadequate vessels and procedures that are manual, inefficient, and prone to error. To optimize sample safety and establish a foundation for a successful sample management program, consider the following factors:

  • Laboratory disposables – Depending on sample storage requirements, using the wrong vessel can result in contamination or devastating sample loss
  • Sample labels – Samples may be lost or sacrificed if their labels are illegible due to peeling, fading, or poor handwriting
  • Sample documentation – Inadequate record-keeping and tracking can have disastrous consequences

In fact, according to a study published in the Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine of identification errors in the lab, 55 percent are attributed to labeling errors.

Protect Your Lab’s Most Important Assets

The Eppendorf SafeCode system was designed to handle samples with the utmost security and protection. With high-quality barcoded vessels and an easy-to-use code reader, the system includes both Eppendorf CryoStorage Vials and the Eppendorf RackScan barcode scanner.

High-Quality Vessels and Design

Eppendorf CryoStorage Vials are made from high-quality polypropylene and manufactured in a class VIII cleanroom. Available in Eppendorf Quality or sterile purity grades, these vials are free of detectable RNase, DNase, human DNA, and endotoxins (pyrogens). With a temperature range of -196° to +121° Celsius, they’re suitable for a wide variety of samples and storage conditions.


  • Pre-racked and pre-capped for convenient handling and clean conditions
  • Rack capacity of either 48 or 96 vials, depending on volume class
  • Locking latches on both sides of the rack lid for safe closing and easy opening
  • Twist-lock bottoms prevent vial rotation for easy manual or automated screw cap opening and closing 

Dependable Identification

To make sure your samples are never lost due to poor labeling, the SafeCode system provides pre-labeled and barcoded vessels for reliable and consistent identification. Eppendorf CryoStorage Vials offer three levels of coding:

  • 2D DataMatrix ECC 200 codes use dots, squares, rectangles, and other geometric patterns
  • Classic 1D Barcodes consist of a series of parallel lines that vary in width and spacing
  • Easy-to-read numeric identifiers 

DataMatrix ECC 200 error checking and correction enables code reading even when markings are 30 percent damaged.

Digital Traceability

The Eppendorf DataPort provides complete documentation of individual CryoStorage Vials, from certificates and technical drawings to lot and order numbers. Convenient online access from the Eppendorf website simplifies requirements and is always available.

Scan barcodes individually with a hand scanner or scan the entire rack at once with the RackScan barcode reader. RackScan Analyzer software can transfer scanned sample data to external databases or to sample management software like eLABInventory.

Safety Simplified

Keeping samples safe and organized doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming. In fact, protecting samples from the start can save both time and money. The right vessels make all the difference in ensuring that samples are never lost or rendered unusable due to poor quality or improper labeling. Digitally capturing sample data lets you easily and efficiently manage samples, reduce the possibility of human error, and improve workflow.

These elements provide a proper foundation for successful sample management. You can then build on this foundation by adding other sample management essentials, such as optimized cold storage solutions and remote device monitoring.


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