Anyone involved with academic research knows that it can be a mix of good and bad. The positive aspects are fairly obvious. One has a chance to do serious research that pushes forward the basic understanding of humanity. The negatives dwarf in comparison, but they can still be significant. Basically, a big issue comes down to needing to account for research expenditure. Proper methodology costs money, and it can be difficult to justify these expenses to laymen. In general, one often finds oneself in a position where the people approving a budget aren’t overly familiar with the practical aspects of lab work. Because of this, it is often a good idea to take some time and organize the facts of why specific equipment is needed. This is especially important for items such as a cryotube, which many people think of as rather different from what it actually is. So what should one say about the benefits of using a cryotube?
One of the most important aspects of a cryotube to stress is that they’re designed for the proper storage and transport of biological materials. Anyone involved with experimental science knows that the environment a sample is worked on within can be as important as the actual sample. It’s vital to any procedure that an experiment actually be carried out on the intended target. With improper storage, it’s quite possible that the container or surrounding environment is being measured as much as the actual sample itself. While proper storage can cost more, it’s never worth placing a small amount of savings over the cost of the entire experiment. Ensuring the safety and viability of a sample will often be the absolute most important step in the entire process.
However, the benefits of cryotubes go beyond simply storing a sample in normal environments. As the name suggests, they are specially designed to hold up under low temperatures. The ability to function normally in cryogenic storage is one of the most important aspects. Many other containers can form microscopic imperfections within low temperature environments which will serve to contaminate a sample.
The contamination provided by normal containers subjected to low temperatures can come in a variety of forms. Some imperfections might interact with a substance and make little difference. It’s also quite possible that the combination of container and environment might serve to actually act as a mutagenic agent that will produce results quite different than what an experiment would normally yield.
The low temperature design of crytubes can also be seen in how they protect samples. The tubes are designed so that even while under freezing temperatures they can be sealed in a properly sterile manner with heat. Many general purpose containers will suffer damage when undertaking that procedure.
In the end, one needs to ensure that everyone involved with a study understands that it will only be as good as the equipment used. If one wants a high quality study, high quality materials will need to be a part of it.