faq’s

Our FAQ’s

You mention end-to-end cold chain logistics service. Can you help with other shipments?

At Cryoniss, we endeavour to remove as much non-value-added time from our customers as possible. Coordinating the logistics of sample shipments, we believe is not the best use of highly skilled scientists’ time. Whether it is hunting around for dry ice and packaging or chasing customs for updates, scientists should be at the bench driving forward scientific advances to make a difference to patients’ lives. It is for this reason, we provide a fully tailored logistics management solution to our customers. As we have the scientific expertise to understand the sample biology, coupled with extensive experience of coordinating international shipments of biological and biohazardous materials, we are able to work on our customers’ behalf to provide an end-to-end solution. Working with our premium couriers and on-site scientists we schedule the delivery of complete validated packaging for the samples to be put in and taken away by the courier. Working with our courier partners, we complete all import and export paperwork and ensure the shipment has been pre-approved by customs before the samples are collected. During the shipment, we provide routine updates to customers and in the event of any issues or delays, we work on our customers behalf to resolve these expediently, whilst guaranteeing the samples remain of the highest quality. For example, dry ice replenishments are standard practice.

Can you help me acquire biological samples?

At Cryoniss our specialism and business focus is ensuring your biological samples are 100% secure and maintained to the highest quality. However, we have extensive experience of sourcing cell line reagents and patient material and through our specialist network are able to provide guidance on who to talk to.

You mention a one-off customer onboarding fee? What is this for and how much does it cost?

At Cryoniss we are highly regulated by multiple governmental organisations. This means that we are required to ensure that all samples and products we store have been legally, ethically and morally acquired and we are allowed to store them on behalf of the customer. Depending upon the complexity of the samples, their origins and route to our facility, we must complete a due diligence exercise to cross-reference these governmental requirements and ensure our internal tracking and documentation clearly shows that everything is above board. We undergo annual on-site audits by our accreditors who check through our Quality Management System for evidence that these due diligence checks are in place. Do not worry though, if we find any documentation missing, we will do the leg work on your behalf to get everything in place for you.
The price of the onboarding is very much depending upon the complexity of the samples stored, and where they are coming from. For example, checks on the import and export permits, coupled with APHA and ethical requirements for non-human primate samples from China will take us longer than GMO level 1 bacterial sample from an established UK provider.

You mention pay-as-you-go contracts. What does this mean?

One thing we have learned over the years is that science is unpredictable and delays to projects happen all the time: be that through customs delays, project initiation delays, patient recruitment delays etc. For this reason, we implement as standard a pay-as-you-go invoicing process whereby you are charged for the max number of samples you stored with us the previous month, irrelevant of how many you thought were going to arrive with us. Unfortunately, as standard, we are unable to pro-rata our invoices to the day number (i.e. if they arrived on the 29th of a month it would still count). We do not implement monthly monitoring fees until you deposit your first samples with us, even if the contract is signed.

Is there a minimum sample number to store with yourselves?

Not at all. You can send us a single sample vial if you need to. However, we do have several regulatory checks that we must routinely complete, therefore we do have a small monthly administration fee applied.

You are accredited to high standards; however, we do not require GLP level of storage. Do you have multiple levels of service, to keep the costs down?

At Cryoniss, we believe the quality of data generated in any experiment is only as good as the reagents used. Validating reagents in lieu of the actual interesting experiment takes time to do, therefore once you’ve optimised your samples it is important to keep them in the highest condition and standards as possible.
When Phil and I developed our Quality Management System, we had this philosophy in mind that every sample must be treated to the highest standard, and using the principles of Lean Six Sigma, we developed our internal processes and procedures to ensure the integrity of every sample is maintained to the highest quality. Using this streamlined approach, we are able to keep our costs competitive, whilst delivering a personalised tailored approach.

What alerting facilities do you have to notify you of any temperature excursions?

All our storage units are fitted with UKAS validated temperature probes – should there ever be a temperature excursion, alerting facilities activate and the Cryoniss on-call team receive SMS text messages and emails – this system operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year with Cryoniss team members always being available to attend our facilities if required.

What temperatures do you store biological samples at?

At Cryoniss, we can accommodate storage of biological samples from ambient, +4˚C, -20˚C, -80˚C and -196˚C (vapour phase liquid nitrogen) in our world-class facilities. The purpose of biopreservation is to maintain the integrity of biological samples over time with the ability to recover them on demand in the future for further research. The temperature at which samples are stored depends greatly on how the samples have been preserved against degradation of the samples and infection from contaminants. Scientists use multiple different methods to protect the samples and depending upon the end-user assay and target molecule determines how these samples are prepared and ultimately stored. For example, dimethyl sulfoxide used as a cryopreservant for storage of live cell lines to be recovered from -196 ˚C is a different requirement from storage of formalin-fixed paraffin embedded tissues that can be stored at room temperature. However, if the analysis in the future of the FFPE samples is for RNA purposes then it is better to store them at +4 ˚C for long-term.

How much time do I need to give you to retrieve a sample from storage?

By storing samples with us at Cryoniss, you entrust us to keep them safe and to the highest level of integrity in our world-class UK based storage facilities. However, these samples have ultimately been created to drive forward scientific research, and as such you need access to them expediently, especially when things go wrong! As standard, our contracts are set up that you can have access to them next working day by notifying us by 11am the prior working day. However, we provide you with the direct contact details of your account manager and deputy account manager, such that if you need your samples urgently (24/7/365), we will immediately arrange this for you same day. This includes shipment of samples domestically. There is a slight surcharge for urgent requests to cover our resource overheads.

What back ups do you have in your facilities for fridges and freezers?

All Cryoniss facilities are fed directly by two independent sources of electricity from the local power station. Alongside this, we have our own generator, which will power the facilities automatically in the event of power supply failure.

All our storage units and equipment undergo routine maintenance, including servicing and stress testing. For every 3 live storage unit, we have a single unit always kept free for back up, allowing us to quickly and safely ensure any items stored with us remain at the required temperature should any issues occur.

On top of the electrical back up and storage unit back, Cryoniss also has a full disaster recovery plan.

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