Lyophilization, or freeze drying, is a common technique used in the pharmaceutical and food industries to vacuum freeze samples for long-term, ambient storage.
Freeze-drying equipment uses sublimation to remove water, or common solvents such as methanol or acetonitrile, from a pre-frozen product. Sublimation occurs when a frozen aqueous sample moves directly from a solid to a gaseous state, without passing through the liquid phase.
By avoiding the liquid phase, the process of sublimation ensures the yield of a stable product that can be stored outside of a freezer and reconstituted for processing years into the future.
The lyophilizer collector coil acts as a cold trap to collect moisture vapor eluting from the frozen product. To ensure the effective capture of sample vapor during sublimation, the collection coil must maintain a temperature of 15 – 20 degrees colder than the sample’s freezing point.
Freeze dry systems for aqueous samples have a working temperature of -50°C. Benchtop and console Lyophilizers are available in a range of capacities.
Freeze dry systems for low eutectic point samples have a working temperature of -86°C. Benchtop and console Lyophilizers are available in a range of capacities.
(Optional: Solvent & Collector Freezing Points: Table Shown Here)
A collector coil cooling to -50 degrees is optimal for freeze drying aqueous samples stored in DI or nuclease-free water.
A collector coil cooling to -84 degrees is ideal for low eutectic point samples stored in DI water or acetonitrile.
View Price: FreeZone 2.5 Liter -84C Benchtop Freeze Dryers
A collector coil cooling to -105 degrees is optimal for low eutectic point samples stored in methanol or ethanol.
The collector size lists the ice holding capacity, in liters, housed by the system during a single run. The maximum sample volume, per session, is 50% of the ice holding capacity.
Benchtop systems with capacities of 2.5 liters, 4.5 liters, and 8 liters are optimal for light to moderate sample loads.
Free-standing systems, with 6-liter, 12-liter, and 18-liter capacities are appropriate for large sample loads or numerous batches.
PTFE-Coated Collector Coils and Chambers are recommended for lyophilization processes involving corrosive compounds.
Labconco Stoppering Tray Dryers are ideal for batch drying operations involving pre-frozen samples from the same, or similar, production lot; the vessels are placed in a tray dryer to ensure uniform conditions. Although slight variations in drying conditions may be experienced for samples located near the clear front door of the tray dryer, the samples are heated under the same protocol and conditions to ensure maximum uniformity.
Manifold drying provides a flexible alternative to tray drying for small volume samples with high eutectic and collapsed temperatures, vials, ampules, or frost-free flasks. Manifolds are connected to individual ports on the manifold after the pre-frozen samples are removed from a storage freezer or low-temperature water bath. Manifold systems accommodate vessels of different sizes to allow drying of multiple products or batches during a single run. As each vessel has a direct connection to the collector, manifold drying is more efficient than tray drying.
For stable products resistant to changes in moisture or oxygen levels, bulk drying chambers permit precise control of temperature and heat input. Rather than drying products sealed in individual vessels, bulk drying involves spreading the products across the surface area of a shelf or tray. As heat is transferred to the samples through conduction from the shelf or tray, the product must be spread across the area to a uniform thickness to prevent changes in heating rates. Bulk drying is not suitable for samples prone to cross-contamination or changes in atmospheric conditions.
Determining the primary drying end point for each sample can be a challenge. Once the vessel is free of ice residue, the drying of samples located at the edge of the container is complete. To ensure that the center of the product has completed the drying process, an electronic vacuum gauge is used to measure the condensable gasses in the closed system. When the electronic gauge displays a pressure equal to the minimum level attainable by the system, the sample contains no more water vapor.
Labconco’s End Zone system provides an alert when sample moisture levels have reached user-selected criteria, taking all of the guesswork out of end point determination.
Labconco’s Lyo-Works operating system, included on each FreeZone model, provides an audible alarm and automated email to each user when sample end points are reached.
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While freeze drying runs can extend well beyond normal working hours, remote system monitoring is crucial to ensure system efficiency. Labconco’s Lyo-Works operating system, standard on all FreeZone models, provides users with real-time sample conditions, including vacuum levels and collector temperature. Sample status updates are provided by email to each selected user when runs are completed, the drying end point is determined, and system parameters change.
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