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<p>The University of Alaska Museum (UAM) has maintained a frozen tissue collection for nearly three decades. Samples were originally housed in ultracold freezers, but mechanical failures, power outages, a lack of responsiveness by campus emergency services, and the potentially disastrous synergism among these posed a real threat to this irreplaceable and increasingly useful resource. With funding from NSF, UAM’s Genomic Resources (GR) collection was transferred from mechanical freezers to liquid nitrogen (LN2) between 2008 and 2016, and an in-house LN2 production facility was installed. LN2 is widely considered the gold standard for the permanent preservation of frozen organic samples, with the added benefits of substantial energy savings and greater space efficiency. However, the efficient use of space is an ongoing concern, and standard cryovials are often much larger than necessary. Working with UAF’s College of Engineering and Mines and the Office of Intellectual Property and Commercialization, we developed and patented a new cryovial half the height of a standard 2-mL cryovial but stackable and interlocking such that two fit in a single cell of a standard 81- or 100-cell box. These cryovials would double the capacity for small-volume samples (e.g., insect legs; biopsy punches; and tissues from small or larval fish, mammals [e.g., shrews], and birds [e.g., hummingbirds]). Prototypes have been 3D printed and preliminary discussions with manufacturers are underway, but provisional buy-in from other institutions will accelerate the time to market. UAM is widely seen as a leader in museum cryopreservation due to our relatively early adoption of LN2; the sophisticated object-tracking capabilities of Arctos; and the size (&gt;210,000 tissue samples), composition, accessibility, and use of the collection.</p>
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