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What Makes Microbank™ Unique?

How do you store and retrieve bacterial and fungal cultures easily, effectively and efficiently? We have designed the Microbank™ system expressly to meet long-term storage and retrieval needs.

It is a simple but unique concept, with proven success. Now, with an integrated 2D datamatrix barcoding labelling function, Microbank™ continues to support research, scientific, pharmaceutical and other user-groups.

Long-term Storage Requirements

Across a broad range of industry-specific applications, long-term storage is a fundamental requirement in microbiology.

It is a question of both volume and visibility.

Users need to be able to store large quantities of samples safely, at low temperatures. But they also need to be able to retrieve any given sample without it being a long, drawn-out process.

Essentially, it’s about having the equivalent of an accessible reference library of samples at your disposal.

Much microbiological testing and research requires incubation of cultures over time, with periodic re-examination.

In some cases, storage can be over lengthy periods, measured in years.

Long-term storage therefore must ensure that these samples are still viable over these periods of time, but also that they are easy to retrieve.

How Microbank™ Works

The Microbank™ system incorporates a unique 2D datamatrix barcode into the labelling of sample vials.

These unique barcode labels are freezer-safe and highly durable, making them ideal for long-term storage.

You can also apply the barcodes to storage boxes for the vials, making storage, cataloguing and retrieval that much simpler and clearer.

However, there’s a lot more to Microbank™ than labelling.

Each vial contains around 25 sterile glass beads, in a single colour. These beads are porous, attracting microorganisms to each surface. This means that when you want to extract a sample from your vial, you just select one of the glass beads.

If you need a fresh culture, you can then use this single, extracted bead to directly inoculate your appropriate culture medium.

The Microbank™ vials contain a uniquely formulated cryopreservative, which allows for storage between -20°C and -70°C.

The 2D Datamatrix Barcode

2D barcodes use patterns of tiny, individual dots that form into squares, hexagons, rectangles and other shapes. Each single 2D barcode can contain a significant amount of information. The structure of 2D barcodes enables them to hold up to 2,000 characters.

The patterns on these barcodes will remain legible even when printed on very small labels.

The barcode encodes its data based on each pattern’s horizontal and vertical arrangements. And the contents of this information isn’t just alphanumeric.

It can also include valuable and useful information such as images, website addresses and even voice data.

This means that you can include lots of data on the individual vial’s barcode without requiring reference to a database.

Consequently, when you transport or store a vial, its vital data moves with it. This data is readable using a barcode scanner, such as a gun, countertop, cordless or other type of device.

Typically, a barcode scanner can read a 2D barcode from up to three feet away.

Increasingly, medical and diagnostic equipment, and specialist manufacturing, now use 2D barcodes for supply chain tracking and management.

The Microbank™ datamatrix barcode is GS1 compliant, which means it meets stringent international standards for suppliers, as mandated for all NHS trusts by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

What Are the Benefits of Microbank™?

Microbank™ combines innovative storage with cutting-edge barcode labelling to give you a comprehensive means of long-term storage and retrieval.

It enables you to store microorganisms at low temperatures for extended periods without risk of disruption or disturbance.

At the same time, it provides ready access to this stored material.

The preservation and retrieval procedure is straightforward, and the integrated datamatrix barcode labelling system allows you to accurately store and catalogue whatever supporting data you need for each sample vial.

Microbank™ has proven successful across a diverse spectrum of applications, including:

• Long-term storage of multiple culture collections of zoonotic enteric pathogens for research purposes
• Cryopreservation of fungal spores
• Long-term storage of salmonella isolates, and of fastidious campylobacter and helicobacter
• Cryo storage of brucella SPP.

Microbank™ works efficiently for the storage, archiving and retrieval of bacteria, for reference studies and for maintaining culture collections.

Setting up with Microbank™

Since we first introduced Microbank™, we’ve manufactured and supplied over 35 million vials globally.

Microbank™ could revolutionise how you store, catalogue and retrieve your samples. If you want support in setting up the system, or training your staff to use it, we’ve got an expert technical team on hand, and we’re more than happy to help.

For more details about Microbank™, please contact us, and we will be back in touch as soon as possible.

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