Cryogenic Labeling
Identifying laboratory samples is critical. And that’s because if a sample has no identity, it will also lose its integrity in the process. And as a result, the sample will be classified as waste – physical waste in the sense that the sample is now deemed unusable, wasted time as it can cause workflow interruptions, and waste of money (especially if the sample was considered valuable).

And since we’ve mentioned integrity, sample labels are especially at risk when the samples undergo a cryogenic process as extreme cold temperatures can ruin average labels. That is why cryogenic labels are recommended in this type of situations to maintain the integrity of the sample.

So we invite you to read more as we are going to discuss why cryogenic labeling is critical if a sample is stored under freezing temperatures in today’s entry.

Note: This article is made for individuals working at a laboratory or biobank who are looking for reliable information about cryo labels and the effective way of tracking and identifying biological samples stored in cryogenic storage and ultra-low temperature freezers for a long period of time.

We want to impart to readers like you the various attributes of cryo labeling, the process of choosing the correct label for cryogenic storage, and the LabTAG catalog labels to use.

Definition Of A Cryogenic Label

In simple terms, a cryo label is a type of label that is specifically designed to withstand extreme cold cryogenic conditions. The adhesive and the face material are combined together to remain intact as they are exposed to freezing temperatures for a long time.

Storing samples in laboratory freezers or liquid nitrogen can pose a risk to the accuracy of identifying samples because the labels can detach on the specimen container or appear faded or smudged. So it’s crucial to choose the correct labels that are intended for this kind of condition to prevent label failure and loss of integrity of the sample.

Why Are Specimen Labels Important For Cryo Storage?

Helping the patient is the main objective of all professionals working in the healthcare industry. Whether it would be through developing a new medicinal treatment or providing a diagnosis so the patient will be informed of what he/she must do to get back to health again, it is the responsibility of ALL healthcare professionals to provide accurate results at all times.

Labels serve as indicators for sample labels so that you can easily track and identify through processing. And if these labels are inaccurate, the results, no matter if they are properly tested, will become meaningless as the information and the test history of the patient can’t be attached to the specimen.

Typically, when a sample label is removed or distorted during processing and storage they are already classified as waste. And this will lead to waste of time as the technician will have to take another sample from the patient and go through the processing gain and waste of lab resources as well.

The Importance Of Choosing The Right Cryogenic Label

The correct type of label must be used in order to maintain the integrity of the sample. And this type of label should be made for cryogenic storage purposes, more specifically a cryogenic-resistant type of label.

To find out if you are using a sample label that is suitable for cryogenic storage and able to handle harsh sample exposures within the laboratory environment, there are a few questions that you need to ask yourself:
  1. Will there be an instance that the specimen sample will be exposed to strong chemicals like methanol, acetone, DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide), or isopropyl alcohol?
  2. Will there be an instance that the specimen sample will be exposed to very high temperatures aside from extreme cold?
  3. If so, then how long will the specimen be subjected to high heat?
  4. Will the specimen sample be moved by robotic grippers and machinery at any point of the processing?
  5. How long will the specimen sample be stored inside the cryogenic storage?
Aside from that, it is important to take note that cryo labels are made in different configurations and sizes as they’ll be placed in various containers such as test tubes, plates, boxes, racks, or straws. Moreover, the method of printing should be considered as well since cryogenic labels are labeled through laser printers, direct thermal, and thermal transfer.

Pre-Printed Or Print In-House: What Label Should You Order?

Finally, deciding whether to purchase a pre-printed cryo label or print the label inside your workplace actually depends on the information to be printed on the label. So let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of choosing pre-printed and print in-house labels:

A. Ordering Pre-Printed Cryo Labels


  • Many options to choose to suit any application, colors, specialized adhesives, face materials, print technologies, etc.
  • Customizable
  • Labels can be delivered straight to your laboratory, unless you’ve ordered pre-applied labels on test tubes.
  • Increased opportunities for durability and color choices.


  • Not advisable to be stored unused for a long time since the adhesive will wear off over time.
  • If not accounted for, you might run out of supply of pre-printed supply in your lab. And the delivery may take longer, especially if you ordered customize pre-printed cryo labels.
  • Time-sensitive information can’t be included as the information has to be given to the manufacturer prior to ordering.

B. Ordering Blank Cryo Labels To Be Printed In-House


  • Variable details can be printed immediately. Aside from that, switchovers can be done anytime and reprinting labels is also possible.
  • Different printing technologies available. Though, a thermal transfer is mostly recommended as it is durable and affordable.
  • You are in full control of the nature of print to be done as well as the quantity of labels to be printed.


  • Printers and automation equipment plus other consumables can take up space in your laboratory, which means you’ll have to allow certain space for these things aside from the lab machines and supplies.
  • A dedicated staff is often required to print labels for specimen samples.
  • The clarity, durability, and resolution of the print will depend on the type of print technologies you are using. And this means you’ll have to secure a top dollar model of printer to have the best quality of print on the labels.
  • Check out Nev’s Ink’s website today if you’re looking for a place to order high-quality medical labels and tapes online. Just click on the link to visit their site.
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