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A Device for Sterile Removal of a Biological Sample from a Cryopreserved Bag

Posted Dec 27 2009 4:00pm

Description of Invention:
Cryopreservation through freezing in liquid nitrogen allows the storage of biological materials for extended periods while maintaining their activity and viability. It is commonly used in the clinic to store blood cells, semen, and umbilical cord blood (UCB) for future use. These materials are typically only obtainable in limited quantities and may be of great therapeutic value, as is the case of hematopoietic stem cells from UCB which can be used to treat and cure a number of different life-threatening illnesses. It is common practice to cryopreserve viably in bags a variety of different cells obtained from the blood . Currently, even if only a small portion of the cryopreserved sample is needed the whole bag must be thawed, wasting much of the sample since it cannot be effectively refrozen. There is a need for a method of retrieving a small sample from a frozen sample of cells in a bag while preserving the cryopreserved state and integrity of the rest of the cellular material.

Researchers at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in collaboration with the American Fluoroseal Corporation (AFC) have invented an apparatus that separates a small portion of a cryopreserved biological material stored in a collection bag while maintaining the cryopreserved integrity, sterility, and viability of the original cryopreserved material. This device could be used to retrieve small aliquots samples of various cryopreserved cellular products and biological materials such as UCB, blood mononuclear cells, stem cells, semen, and plasma while maintaining the viability and sterility of both the retrieved sample and the original cryopreserved material.

  • Retrieving hematopoietic stem cells from cryopreserved UCB unit to reconstitute the bone marrow of cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy and chemotherapy
  • Retrieving portions of cryopreserved blood cells for expansion of antigen reactive T-cells, NK cells, and hematopoietic stem cells in the laboratory
  • Retrieving portions of cryopreserved semen for assisted reproductive technology
  • Sampling of cryopreserved blood plasma for detection of cytokines, chemokines, or other proteins, infectious agents or performance-enhancing drugs

  • Ability to isolate portions or cryopreserved biological materials while retaining viability, sterility, and cryopreserved integrity of remaining material
  • Compatibility with thousands of blood bags presently stored in commercial and public blood banks

Development Status:
A prototype of the device has been built and successfully tested.

Richard W Childs (NHLBI)
Sumithira Vasu (CC)
Herb M Cullis (The American Fluoroseal Corporation)

Patent Status:
HHS, Reference No. E-173-2009/0
PCT, Application No. PCT/US2010/033575 filed 04 May 2010

Licensing Status:
Available for licensing.

Collaborative Research Opportunity:
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Hematology Branch, is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize the Device for Sterile Removal of a Biological Sample from a Cryopreserved Bag. Please contact Cecilia Pazman, Ph.D., 301-402-5579; for more information.

Devices/Instrumentation - Research Tools and Materials
Devices/Instrumentation - Environmental Technology

For Additional Information Please Contact:
Surekha Vathyam Ph.D.
NIH Office of Technology Transfer
6011 Executive Blvd. Suite 325,
Rockville, MD 20852
United States
Phone: 301-435-4076
Fax: 301-402-0220

Ref No: 2049

Updated: 12/2009

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