Re: cryostat decontamination

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From:Tim Morken <>
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You have discovered what I did last year. I did a literature search and came 
up with nothing. Not one article on cryostat decontamination (at least none 
that had documentation on why a certain method was used).

Here are some methods I found that did not have any documentation to back 
them up as to effectiveness:

In all cases you must defrost the cyrostat before decontaminating.

1) Wash out with 100% alcohol (be careful of flammable fumes)

2) wash with 10% formalin or Cidex (2.5 % glutaraldehyde) followed by water, 
followed by 100% alcohol.

This one is documented, but not published.
3) Put a dish of 37% formalin ("concentrated formalin", "formaldehyde") in 
the defrosted cryostat and leave overnight. This is from an unplublished 
study by a cryostat manufacturer and is the method recommended by Shandon 
for their cryostats.

Textbooks will say to "decontaminate the cryostat" but either do not give 
any instructions on how to do so, or the instructions they give are not 
backed up with studies documenting effectiveness.

No cryostat manufacturer, except Shandon, gives instructions on how to 
decontaminate a cryostat.

I am working on a study to determine the need and effectiveness of cryostat 
decontamination procedures, but that won't be done for awhile yet.

It's not much, I know, but that's about it.

Tim Morken, B.A., EMT(MSA), HTL(ASCP)
Infectious Disease Pathology
Centers for Disease Control
1600 Clifton Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30333


Phone: (404) 639-3964
FAX:  (404)639-3043

----Original Message Follows----
From: Susan McFarland <>
Subject: cryostat decontamination
Date: Fri, 03 Mar 2000 14:01:16 -0500

Hello there,

I just did a search through the archives for procedures for disinfection of 
cryostats and could find only questions, not answers. Does anyone have a 
protocol, with references for adequately disinfecting their cryostats they 
would be willing to share?  If it makes any difference with have both old 
Ames cryostats and newer Leica 1720s.

I am in the process of trying to standardize protocols between two merged 
hospitals and find that neither protocol seems sufficient. I have nothing to 
make a reference to in either case.

Thanks very much,

Sue McFarland,
London Health Sciences Centre
London, Canada

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