Benefits of Sample-centric Freezer Management Software

Most freezer management software aims to be a mirror image of a lab’s freezer space. Samples are assigned location in the freezer at the same time as they are entered into the system, and removed from the system when they are no longer in storage. Although this may be helpful in managing freezer capacity and sample locations, this “mirror image” approach does not always accurately reflect lab workflows or provide a full chain of custody of a given sample. 

In many labs, samples are transported, received, and processed before they are stored. Similarly, samples can also be completely removed from storage, but their data and audit logs may need to persist in the system. The freezer management software described above would be ill-suited to handle both of these scenarios. To fully track a sample and provide an end-to-end history, teams should search for a sample-centric freezer management tool- one that separates a sample’s existence from the physical location in which it’s stored.

A sample-centric freezer management software has the following benefits:

1. Samples can exist outside of a storage framework. This means that teams can:

  • Save time and improve visibility of work by registering samples before they arrive
  • Easily view consumed, expired or shipped samples without crawling an audit log
  • Track chain-of-custody of samples that are never meant for storage

2. Samples can be part of lab tasks before or after they are physically stored. This is useful in cases like:

  • Pre-registered samples are part of a “Receiving” workflow job
  • Sample processing can be tracked in the system before adding the samples to storage
  • Outgoing samples can be tracked in a workflow job

3. Experimental data can be associated with samples at any time. This benefits teams by:

  • Adding associated data from external sources to be registered with samples, regardless of storage status
  • Removing the need for “staging” freezer space to make updates to samples and their experimental data
  • Creating a single space for tracking samples and their associated data, whenever it is available

About LabKey Sample Manager

LabKey Sample Manager includes a sample-centric freezer management solution into the application. This means you can create samples, add metadata and lineage information, perform work and even upload assay data — all without being required to have your sample in freezer storage. Freezer management in Sample Manager can help you:

  • Manage your freezer with an end-to-end sample tracking system that stores the entire sample history and chain of custody in one place
  • Organize your samples using a customizable structure that accurately reflects the physical freezers in your lab
  • Track samples in and out of the freezer (freeze/thaw counts) and automatically calculate and track changes in sample volumes
  • Easily find samples in the freezer and move samples between freezers
  • Tracking and maintaining full audit logs of the freezer and of the samples