In a recent paper published in Biopreservation and Biobanking (12(3):165-175) Prof Allison Hubel writes on selecting the optimal storage temperature for the storage of human Bio specimens.
Together with Ralf Spindler and Amy Skubitz from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, she examines the scientific basis for selecting a storage temperature for a bio specimen based on current scientific understanding.
Millions of biological samples are currently kept at low temperatures in cryobanks / biorepositories for long-term storage. The quality of these bio specimens when thawed, however, are not only determined by their processing but very much by their storage conditions as well.
The article describes some of the physical basics of the temperature, nucleation, and ice crystal growth present in biological samples stored at low temperatures (−20°C to −196°C), and the current understanding of the role of temperature on the activity of degradative molecules present in biospecimens.