What is Cryobanking?

A cryobank is a medical facility that stores a wide variety of tissues and cells in a state of deep freeze. Some cryobanks store human samples such as stem cells that are later used for research or treatment of various types of cancers.

These facilities typically have a cryopreservation unit, which is used for the actual storage of the materials. Many use liquid nitrogen to preserve the tissues or cells, which lowers the temperature below freezing and keeps the cells viable for research or other applications.

Materials are carefully prepared before they are put through the freezing process, in which water molecules within the samples are frozen. There is typically a loss of some tissues, but the majority of the sample remains intact for as long as it is frozen. Since purity of each sample is of vital importance, most cryobanks do not put the liquid nitrogen in direct contact with the sample in order to freeze it. Instead, samples are put in freezers and kept separate from the liquid nitrogen, frozen by the temperature of the environment instead.