Case
Guernsey State Analytical Lab

Guernsey State Analytical Laboratory has a long experience with Gram BioLine’s products. Some of them even date back 20 years, so when they needed new refrigerators and freezers for their PCR sequencing, Gram BioLine was the obvious choice.

PCR sequencing

Guernsey State Analytical Laboratory needed a PCR sequencing area for the Guernsey’s COVID-19 sequencing. It was established to identify which COVID variants were present on the island. For safety reasons it was kept separate from the rest of the lab and established in one of their office areas. We basically created this whole room for COVID sequencing. We started last March and we went through the process of seeing how we could fit it all in. We store the samples in fridges and freezers, and we choose Gram BioLine because we trust them. They are really good, stable and so much better than others in the market” Luke Rigby, Senior lab Technician, explains.

COVID samples stored at correct temperatures

Sequencing of samples from patients leads to determination of COVID variants. PCR might look simple, but it is quite a complex process where you through sequencing amplify the SARS genome and determine the variant”, Luke Rigby ads.

 

The samples are stored in the refrigerators and freezers at different temperatures. Not all samples are kept at critical or extreme temperatures (2-8°C), however stable temperatures are a necessity. And Luke Rigby explains; “if you compare the Gram BioLines cabinets with the domestic ones we used earlier, these are so much better. When logging the old refrigerators, we found that the temperature in the top of the fridge was 2°C and the bottom was 8°C and with Gram BioLine we experience stable temperatures. We only experience 0.1 °C in deviation, which is really, really stable”.

 

Picture: Luke Rigby, Senior lab Technician at Guernsey State Analytical Laboratory with Sam Stonebridge, Director Bailiwick Refrigeration that supplies, fits and maintains the Gram BioLine cabinets.

 

An important factor for Guernsey State Analytical Laboratory is that all freezers and refrigerators are mapped and with professional equipment they know that it is mapped automatically. “It is just something we don’t have to worry about anymore, and basically, why would you store £50,000 worth of items in a £500 cabinet? It can be a lifetime’s work that can be lost because of temperature”, Rigby argues.

"Why would you store £50,000 worth of items in a £500 cabinet? It can be a lifetime’s work that can be lost because of temperature”

 

Luke Rigby, Senior lab Technician - Guernsey State Analytical Laboratory

Peace of mind is important

When moving further into the micro-lab, we meet Lead Microbiologist, Joanne Alder. She has her fridges and freezers calibrated against a certain reference temperature. “We put boxes straight in – massive boxes and it does not have any effect on the temperature. We could not do that with the old ones, I love them, Joanne says. For her, the stable temperatures, logging, and alarms give peace of mind because they have experienced someone forgetting to close the door in the evening. An event that overnight caused the light from the fridge to heat the samples in the fridge.

 

We have had issues, though. One of the cabinets had a problem with the humidity setting causing samples getting wet, but they sent a guy who fixed it. And Tom, he was so good, the important thing for us is that problems are addressed, Joanne points out.

 

Luke Rigby finishes of “We even have an old Gram BioLine cabinet upstairs and it is still going strong. It might be about 20 years old, but we don’t see any reason for changing it. The market is flooded with cheaper models, but they don’t last for this many years. We used to use domestic ones, but it just makes sense for us to buy the right equipment”.

Microbiologist Joanne Adler with colleague from Guernsey State Analytical Laboratory

Need advice on how to keep lab temperatures stable?

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