The freeze drying process has important applications in the pharmaceutical R&D and biotechnology industries, and laboratory freeze drying is used to stabilise, store or increase the shelf life of sensitive biological materials.
Laboratory Freeze Drying Process
Laboratory freeze drying is used to remove water from delicate biological products without damaging their chemical structure. This allows them to be preserved easily and they can be reconstituted later by adding water or solvents.
Freeze drying uses a process called lyophilization to lower the temperature of the product to below freezing, and then a high-pressure vacuum is applied to extract the water in the form of vapour. The vapour collects on a condenser, turns back to ice and is removed. Finally, a gradual temperature rise extracts all remaining 'bound' moisture from the product. This process retains the physical structure and preserves the material for storage and/or transport.
Advantages of Laboratory Freeze Drying
With freeze drying, sensitive, unstable or heat-sensitive materials can be preserved without damaging their physical structure. This also enables biologicals to be handled easily without risk of contamination and allows them to be transported cheaply as there is no need for refrigeration or conventional freezing.
Conventional preservation methods have a major disadvantage as the methods used can cause chemical or physical changes to the material. For biological products, this would render them ineffective.
Biologicals Suitable For Freeze Drying
- Vaccines and antibodies
- Blood plasma
- Viruses and bacteria
- Active pharmaceutical ingredients
- Pathological samples and cultures
Cuddon designs and manufactures freeze drying machines for sale worldwide.