Culture Collections

NCTC contract freeze-drying services

 Freeze-dried ampoule spark test 327

 

NCTC offers a freeze-drying service to customers who wish to have their own bacterial or fungal cultures preserved, with their properties maintained. Cultures can be preserved using this method in one of two formats:

Glass Ampoules
Microbial cultures are freeze-dried in glass ampoules flame-sealed under vacuum. This format is suitable for long term preservation of cultures, for example; using this method, members of the Enterobacteriaceae family will survive for more than 50 years and most anaerobic organisms will survive for approximately 20 years.

Customers may specify the number of ampoules required, in multiples of 10 (up to 180) and can choose their own identifying number for the sample, up to a maximum of 12 characters. Clients should agree the number of ampoules and the information to be included on the label at the earliest stage, so that the ampoules can be prepared prior to receipt of the culture to be freeze-dried. Cultures of Hazard Category 3 can also be accepted for freeze-drying, but the charges are higher to reflect the extra work and precautions necessary to prepare the ampoules in a containment facility.

Capped Vials
An alternative to ampoules, is to freeze-dry cultures in vials with a rubber closure held in place by a crimped foil, easy-opening cap. These are much easier to open than glass ampoules, however, cultures maintained in such vials may remain viable for only about two years.

This format is therefore highly appropriate for specimens for EQA scheme distributions, where significant numbers need to be produced for despatch to multiple scheme participants, and where long term storage is not required.

Clients may select the number of vials required in multiple of 100 (up to 500) and can choose their own identifying number for the sample, up to a maximum of 12 characters. Clients should agree the number of vials and the information to be included on the label at the earliest stage, so that the vials can be prepared prior to receipt of the culture to be freeze-dried.

Contact us with your requirements to obtain a quote and information on how to submit samples  culturecollections@phe.gov.uk

 

 

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