Cryogenic applications: Major cryogenic storage project
Thames Cryogenics is setting up one of the most ambitious cryogenic storage projects in Europe. The UK Biobank, based in Stockport, Oxfordshire, aims to recruit around 500 000 people across the UK between the ages of 40 to 69 and to track their health over the course of the next 30 years. The study, which involves more than 20 British universities, will require a facility in which to store about 15 million samples of blood and urine and preserve them for future research: the samples will be stored in vapour phase liquid nitrogen freezers at about -200°C. This very low temperature ensures that even very unstable substances in the blood can be measured decades later. This system will consist of 30 high efficiency vapour phase freezers, inventory systems, liquid nitrogen distribution piping, oxygen depletion monitoring, remote temperature monitoring and alarm, plus a complete extraction system.