New Machine Seals the Deal
The cryopreservation of tissues and cells is a delicate matter. Flaws in packaging or storage can destroy life potential. For this reason, one company has created a heat sealer specifically suited for the packaging of tissues and cells for cryopreservation.
Accu-Seal Corp. (San Marcos, CA) has created a heat sealer purposed specifically to seal fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP) bags and sterile barrier products. Engineered as a result of a partnership with CryoSystems, a supplier of cryogenic packaging materials, the Cryo530 medical pouch sealer features a ¼-in. CryoBand sealing element. This asset provides temperature accuracy and variance across the seal amid the extremely high temperatures needed for sealing FEP pouches, according to the company.
"To the best of my knowledge, there isn't another machine out there that will seal this pouch with a ¼-in. seal every single time with zero deviation," says Lesley Jensen, general manager of Accu-Seal.
The execution of a perfect seal is crucial in the field of cryopreservation. There is no room for error. Since these bags can contain living human tissue, an imperfect seal could be devastating. "Human tissues for transplant and autologous cells or vaccines are too critical to lose to a broken bag," says Kimber Burley, director of CryoSystems. The loss of living cells and tissue because a bag shatters is a preventable catastrophe.
The problem with the sealing of the cryopreservation packaging lies in the material. FEP has proven durability in liquid nitrogen; it doesn't shatter and break like other materials do. However, it is a very high-temperature seal material.
"We did a high-temp sealing unit before," says Jensen. "But, the way it was sealing, we had to be in the 650-degree range. And then you start seeing difficulties with the edges of the seal area."
The key to a consistently perfect seal turned out to be thermodynamics and temperature control. "Basically, with the special element, we're able to control the temperature accuracy at the seal more efficiently and consistently," says Tom Boyle, an engineer at Accu-Seal and the machine's creator.The sealer is outfitted with a digital temperature controller and a heat timer that regulate conditions to ensure a repeatable seal. In addition, the unit is equipped with such standard features as an electronic foot switch activator, external verification ports, product support tray, and stainless-steel enclosure. Optional accessories include a portable cart, an ergonomic multiposition stand, and an ultraquiet lab and office compressor.
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