Sample Preservation Freezer Facility

Archive small quantities of irreplaceable research specimens


PLEASE NOTE: Sample Preservation Freezer Facility to become Archive Biorepository at NCRC

The Biomedical Research Core Facilities is pleased to partner with the UMMS Central Biorepository (CBR) to rebuild the Sample Preservation Freezer Facility (SPFF) into a new Archive Biorepository (ABR) run through the CBR.

The new facility will be located at the North Campus Research Complex and will feature:

  • -80°C freezers with dual compressors
  • Electricity back-up (generators and battery UPS)
  • Pre-chilled, empty backup freezers
  • Plumbed liquid CO2 in case of compressor failure
  • Continuous monitoring via the TempTrak system and CBR’s 24/7 staff coverage
  • Each box of specimens will be tracked with CBR’s LIMS
  • Courier service to facilitate transfer of specimens to and from NCRC
  • Accreditation by the College of American Pathologists Biorepository Accreditation program.

What does this mean for you right now?

If you choose to keep your materials in the ABR, contact SPFF Manager Ati Tislerics. If you prefer to remove your materials, assistance will be provided with transfer to your own local freezer storage. Specimen transfer will begin this month and the facility is expected to be fully functional in May.

Storage charges: The price for -80°C storage will remain fixed at the current level at least through December 2020, as this effort is supported by the UMMS Office of Research.

Standardization of boxes: To facilitate tracking and retrieval, all specimens will be stored in standard 5” × 5” boxes, either 2” or 4” high. For current SPFF users, ABR staff will handle the tasks of repackaging (if needed) and labeling at no additional charge. Users will also have an opportunity to do this themselves if they prefer.

What does this mean for you going forward?

Most importantly, the change means that your irreplaceable specimens will be stored in a facility with much improved infrastructure and specialized, full-time staff.

Storage charges: Beginning January 2021, the ABR’s standard recharge rates will apply. While rates are currently in development; they are projected to be comparable to the current SPFF rate.

Accessing the facility: Addition and retrieval of specimens will be facilitated via the NCRC Courier Service. Details on how to use this service will be communicated when we notify you that your specimens have been relocated to the ABR. You will also be able to access the facility directly by prearrangement with CBR staff, as you have been accustomed to doing with the SPFF.

More information will be made available in the coming weeks. If you have any questions or concerns, please continue to contact SPFF Manager Ati Tislerics.

To learn more about how this will affect current SPFF users, click here for more information. For any questions or concerns, please contact SPFF Manager Ati Tislerics.


About the Sample Preservation Freezer Facility

The Sample Preservation Freezer Facility allows researchers to archive small quantities of irreplaceable research specimens in case of a disastrous loss of material at the investigator’s primary storage site. Providing secure, long-term storage, the Freezer Facility comprises -80°C freezers with emergency backup power. The site and each individual freezer is locked and protected by an alarm system.

Features include:

  • Dedicated site with an emergency backup power generator; a separate cooling system is also tied into the backup generator.
  • Backup freezer(s) are kept cold to facilitate a transfer of materials in the event of equipment failure.
  • Locked entry to the site and separate locks for each individual freezer.
  • The site is protected by an alarm system linked to the University’s Facilities Maintenance department.
  • Restricted Access limited to the Principal Investigator or designee, and only when escorted by BRCF staff.

Sample Preservation Freezer Facility by the Numbers


Recharge Activity (FY18)

Principal Investigators


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