The safety of shipping with ReproTech

At ReproTech we take shipping specimens to and from patients’ clinics seriously. We use a specialized cryoshipper called a mushroom which decreases the chance of the containers being on their sides. Included in our mushroom-style shipper we utilize other protocols in order for your specimens to be shipped safely.

The mushroom-style cryoshipper itself holds a lot of advantages when en route to the destination but ReproTech takes it a step further in assuring that the shipper is up to the above standards. At ReproTech we only use a cryoshipper for 5-years then we dispose of it to ensure that the shipper is up to date. Within the shipper, there is an absorbent material for nitrogen that keeps the specimen at -196° Celsius. We also employ an FDA-approved Cryogaurd thermal indicator which indicates if there is any change in temperature. ReproTech also holds frequent experiments on the nitrogen evaporation rate at our locations to assure our shippers’ efficiency. We have conducted a study of the effects of the shipper’s orientation during shipping you can read it here.

When patient specimens are ready for pickup at their clinic ReproTech will contact the clinic and arrange a timeline for pickup. For routine specimen pickups, ReproTech sends the mushroom shipper via UPS Premier Healthcare on Monday for overnight delivery for both inbound and outbound with arrival to ReproTech on Thursday in order to avoid weekends. When we ship with UPS Premier Healthcare it ensures priority handling with enhanced sensor-based visibility while in transit, live 24/7 location monitoring, proactive delay follow-up, and advanced recovery, if necessary. You can read more about our shipping protocols here. 

 

ReproTech Presents Study on
Safe Cryogenic Shipping

ReproTech, Ltd. Presents Study on Important Considerations for Safe Cryogenic Shipping

PRESS RELEASE: St. Paul, MN, October 29, 2020 –(PR.com)– ReproTech, Ltd. was honored to present an oral abstract at the virtual American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) 2020 Scientific Congress and Expo that resulted from a study designed by authors, W. Brent Hazelrigg, President and CEO; and Amy Erickson Hagen, Vice President of Quality Assurance and Special Projects.

Cryogenic shipping containers (cryoshippers) are used every day to safely transport reproductive tissue specimens between clinics and storage facilities. Within the walls of a cryoshipper, absorbent material holds liquid nitrogen to provide a cryogenic vapor environment with a temperature of -196° Celsius. Cryoshippers are typically housed inside protective shipping enclosures with rounded lids (resembling a mushroom) that encourage carriers to maintain an upright orientation when handling.The abstract, entitled, “Upright, Upside Down, Sideways – Effects of Orientation of Vapor Shippers and Data Loggers on Hold Time,” sought to determine if cryoshippers would maintain safe cryogenic temperatures (hold times) if they were not kept in the upright position per manufacturer recommendations.

“We wanted to look at the manufacturer stated normal evaporation rates (NERs) and hold times for two models of cryoshippers and compared that with preventative maintenance records using the same type of shippers. The shippers were positioned upright, upside down and sideways to simulate how they could be handled by a commercial transport carrier,” stated Amy Erickson Hagen.

The study showed that regardless of orientation, cryoshippers can complete a round trip, shipping out from a cryostorage facility, to a clinic, and back, within one business week. During this process, the cryoshipper still maintains the proper temperature for cryopreserved specimens.

When analyzing the data, it was observed that upside down is the worst orientation and shippers kept in this position had significantly lower hold times.

“Surprisingly, the results showed that using data loggers dramatically decreases the hold time due to a heat wick effect from the temperature probe wire, which transferred heat from the ambient air into the shipper,” commented Brent Hazelrigg. It should be noted that ReproTech used data loggers for this experiment but does not use them as part of their standard shipping protocols. ReproTech instead uses thermal exposure indicators called “Cryoguard M-150s” which are placed inside the cryoshippers with no external wiring, thus eliminating a heat wick effect.

ReproTech invites you to read the full abstract and review the NER and hold times for each scenario on the “Fertility & Sterility” website.

ReproTech, Ltd. specializes in long-term cryostorage and safe transportation of reproductive tissues. In 2020, ReproTech is celebrating its 30-year anniversary as the Cryostorage Leader in the United States with four regional locations in St. Paul, MN; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Reno, NV; and Dallas/Fort Worth, TX. ReproTech’s proven protocols, 24/7 tank monitoring with data analysis, and disaster safe rooms provide peace of mind to patients. ReproTech’s Auto Transfer Management and Fertility Preservation Network Programs offer offsite storage solutions to fertility clinics to automatically transfer specimens to a storage center by pre-consenting all patients, thus eliminating unclaimed specimens.