Straw (cryogenic storage)

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A cryopreservation straw is a small storage device used for the cryogenic storage of liquid samples, often in a biobank or other collection of samples. Their most common application is for storage of sperm for in-vitro fertilization.

Ideally such straws should be made of a material that is chemically inert, biocompatible and have physical characteristics that make them resistant to ultra-low temperatures and pressures created by their storage conditions, resulting in the expansion of liquids and liquid nitrogen.[1]


Once the sample has been introduced into the straw, both extremities are thermally sealed using a specific device, usually supplied by the manufacturer of the consumable.[2]

The straws are then stored within triangular or square visotubes, which in turn fit into cylindrical or square containers known as goblets. These are then organized into a matrix of the same within an ultra-low temperature freezer or nitrogen tank.


  • specifically designed for storing biological materials at temperatures as low as -190°C;
  • stable when submitted to sudden low temperatures (snap freezing), when held at low temperatures for long periods of time (years ) or when taken through several freeze-thaw cycles; and
  • as leak proof as possible even at the lowest cryogenic temperatures.[2]


  1. ^ Website of Cryo Bio System - manufacturer of straw storage systems
  2. ^ a b TUBAFROST Work Package 2: Development of storage system(s) for frozen tissue (technical aspects). (Deliverable 2.2 February 2004)

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