The Sheffield Biorepository

Departmental Sample Storage

The storage of biological samples within liquid nitrogen tanks ensures protection for these vital research materials.

80K Tank The Biorepository provides secure sample storage for the departments of Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease (IICD) and Department Of Oncology and Metabolism (O&M).

Collections of samples are housed for researchers inside Taylor Wharton 80K storage tanks. Tanks utilise the vapour phase of liquid nitrogen at -196°C to avoid any possibility of cross-contamination. The system has a fully automated refilling mechanism and several weeks of built in nitrogen supply redundancy, therefore eliminating limitations normally associated with manual fill vessels. Temperature gradients and abnormal changes in nitrogen levels cannot occur during normal operation of the system.

Guidance: Liquid Nitrogen-Based Cryogenic Storage of Specimens

The designated technicians for this service are:  Jess Willis (IICD), Jon Kilby (IICD), Svetlana Solovieva (O&M), Eva Wild (O&M), Jess Medcalf (O&M) and Ben Durham (IICD).

The service aims to deliver best practice cryogenic storage for a twenty-first century research environment. We hope to achieve these standards while providing a reliable service meeting key objectives:

Quality: Custody of the "cold chain" to safeguard samplesFilling Station

Environmental: Reducing consumption of Liquid Nitrogen and other materials

Safety: Minimising transport of Liquid Nitrogen inside buildings

Cost: Promoting efficiency savings and a fair pricing strategy

Our Service

Full details are provided by the protocols describing the steps necessary for initial bulk transfers and ongoing storage/access of samples.

Samples kept within the nitrogen store are uploaded onto the secure BioTracer CloudLIMS system, additionally an online master record is viewable by researchers.

Feedback is very important for the running of this service. Please complete our FEEDBACK FORM should you have any comments or issues with storage and retrieval of vials.

Sample Storage and Access Requests

In addition to the SOPs above a list of FAQs provides further information. Excel templates for requesting sample storage and access can be downloaded from the links below.

Storage of samples: Sample Storage Request Form

Access to samples: Sample Access Request Form

This table provides a quick reference guide to the storage and access procedures.



Email to request sample storage Email request for access to samples
Receive confirmation via email Receive confirmation via email
Deposit your samples for storage in a CryoPod carrier (E146) Accessed samples are retrieved from the 80K tanks by designated technicians
Samples are taken by a designated technician for storage in the 80K tanks

Samples transferred out of the Biorepository


Samples transferred into the Biorepository


Receive confirmation your samples are ready to collect (E146)
Receive confirmation of storage and Biorepository ID Collect your samples from the CryoPod carrier

Whether you wish to store samples or have any other queries please contact,