BioBank samples are collected permanently and stored for a long period of time in preparation for future research. Ultra-low-temperature freezers are used to keep biospecimens stable, and their performance is critical to the success of the BioBank business.
As of September 2020, 15 PHCbi ultra-low-temperature freezers are in operation at the NCGM BioBank and are being used to store samples. When we asked Suzuki, who established the NCGM BioBank, what made him decide to install PHCbi products, he replied, “because of the reputation of the manufacturer”.
Many of the samples stored here are blood and spinal fluid of patients. For many studies it is imperative to keep them at a constant temperature. Some blood samples are more sensitive to temperature changes than others, so if the freezer malfunctions or the temperature inside the chamber changes, the stored samples may not be viable for use in research. Suzuki says that as PHCbi is an electrically robust company, even if an earthquake or a typhoon caused a voltage imbalance, it would be unlikely to cause a compressor failure or other problems.
In addition, Suzuki cited the fact that the PHCbi products have a dual cooling system as a reason for choosing them. This is a technology that PHCbi calls TwinGuard. If any issues arise with one refrigeration circuit, the other is enough to keep the temperature inside the chamber from rising.
In 2011, PHCbi’s freezers were installed at the same time as the Biobank was built. As of now, there have been no malfunctions or failures. However, there is no guarantee that there will not be a major disaster or an emergency situation such as unplanned power outages in the future. The freezers used by the BioBank must be designed to minimize damage to the specimens in the chamber, even if such problems were to occur. With the mission of BioBank in mind, as well as the future, Satoshi Suzuki chose the PHCbi product.
“Of course, I am satisfied with its performance under normal circumstances. I especially like the very stable temperature in the freezer. All the freezers here are constantly monitored using a measuring device in the chamber. Every morning I receive an email with the temperature data of all the freezers, and the PHCbi freezers have a very small margin of error of +/- 1 degree Celsius against the set temperature, unlike the others I've experienced. I think it's very good.”