ThawSTAR™ automated thawing system

13th November

ThawSTAR™ automated thawing system addresses the last gap in the cell cryopreservation workflow: cell thawing

Replacing common methods of cell thawing such as swirling frozen vials in communal water baths and warming vials between hands – methods that are not standardized and potentially jeopardize the integrity and safety of the sample – ThawSTAR ensures rapid, consistent and reproducible thawing.

Standardized cell thawing and recovery

Utilizing patent-pending STAR™ sensing technology, ThawSTAR thawing system employs multiple detection mechanisms to determine vial temperature, phase change initiation, and thaw completion. Hands-free operation eliminates the guess work and subjectivity of determining the thawing end point. Highly reproducible thermal profiles mirror those obtained from a water bath without the variability and risk of contamination. Ideal for thawing cells or other biospecimens and accepts vials from -80°C freezers or LN2 storage.

How it works

The technology carefully tracks vial temperature at the time of insertion and during the thawing process, as well as detecting the initiation of the solid-liquid phase change to optimize the thermal profile and deliver a consistent final sample temperature in the range of 0-5°C. ThawSTAR can efficiently and reproducibly thaw vials right from LN2 storage as well as those equilibrated to -78°C (dry ice temperatures).

To operate, simply insert one frozen standard 1.8 or 2.0 mL cryogenic vial and wait approximately 2-3 minutes. When thaw cycle is complete, vial is raised for easy removal for downstream processing.

> More information about ThawSTAR™

> Ice-free cooling and freezing

Thawstar

BioCision Announces Industry’s First Automated Biospecimen Thawing System

– Smart device utilizes adaptive sensing technology for accurate and standardized thawing –   

San Rafael, Calif., November 12, 2014 – BioCision, LLC, a leader in advanced products to improve biospecimen and biologics handling and standardization, today 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™ sensing technology, 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  therapies are thawed.  The 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 frozen 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 preparation of cells, including cell therapy drugs.

“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, BioCision CEO. “These methods are subjective and unstandardized, potentially jeopardizing the integrity and safety of the sample. Our new ThawSTAR 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 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 quickly retrieve thawed vials for downstream processing to  minimize risk of toxicity from cryopreservatives, such as DMSO. ThawSTAR thawing system was engineered to deliver results similar to those achieved when thawing in a 37C water bath, but with reproducibility and standardization built in. Its small footprint enables easy incorporation into a laboratory or clinical setting.

“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.