BCGA Code of Practice 45 - Biomedical Cryogenic Storage Systems

November 2021

BCGA has published a new document, Code of Practice 45, Biomedical cryogenic storage systems. Design and operation. 2021

This has replaced BCGA Guidance Note 19, Cryogenic sample storage systems (Biostores). Guidance on design and operation, which has been withdrawn.

BCGA CP 45 provides best practice for the design, installation and operation of systems used for the storage of biomedical materials at cryogenic temperatures, using liquid nitrogen as a sacrificial refrigerant.

Cryopreservation is a very effective way to preserve biological materials with minimum ageing, often over extended periods of time. Examples of biological material include human tissue (stored in Bio-stores) and plant seeds (stored in seed banks). While refrigerators, freezers and extra-cold freezers are used for many items in cold storage, generally the ultra-cold of liquid nitrogen is required for successful preservation of the more complex biological structures, this will virtually stop all biological activity. The method involves the freezing and the storage of biological materials using liquid nitrogen (at approximately -196 °C) as a sacrificial refrigerant. This is in excess of the critical temperature at which biological activity ceases, - 132 °C.

BCGA CP 45 is available as a free download from the BCGA website – under ‘Publications’ -


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