The CRLB occupies approximately 12,000 sq. ft. with accessioning, reception, storage and analytical areas, as well as an associated Proteomics facility. The Biobank has expanded to house 60 large nitrogen vapor storage tanks (each with 60,000- 80,000 vials at -160°C) on an automated bulk tank and pipeline delivery system. . Eventually the facility will house 80 to 100 large nitrogen vapor storage tanks. Mechanical freezers store specimens at -20 and -70°C, including several hundred thousand whole blood specimens applied to filter paper. The facility is on generator backup (tested weekly) and is monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by the CryoMORE system (Air Liquide).
Local CRLB staff, off-site staff located within Ontario and a remote team located in Italy are on 24-hour automatic alarm notification. Individual tank monitors are set to tolerances to dictate autofilling with liquid nitrogen through a pipeline fed from the bulk tank. CryoMORE stores the data derived from the monitors on each individual nitrogen tank (variables such as tank temperature, nitrogen level and fill time) as well as facility sensors on a dedicated server, and initiates notices to all monitoring staff should a problem occur in an individual tank or the overall facility. In the event the facility should become locally inaccessible, the collection can be protected by remote initiation of tank filling by designated Canadian or Italian staff. The storage vessels and environmental control system have been installed with a high degree of redundancy in the event a freezer or freezer monitor should fail. The CRLB facility is locked and access restricted to authorized personnel with current swipe cards controlled by the Security Department. Operator access is to the LIMs is password-controlled.