Lyophilization, or freeze drying, is the process of dehydrating samples without destroying molecular conformation; solutions are frozen and then water is subsequently removed from the solid via vacuum. It is often necessary because biomolecules (i.e. proteins and nucleic acids) are susceptible to some degree degradation and instability when stored as aqueous solutions. The lyophilization process yields a porous, dry cake of the biological sample. It is often used to preserve bacterial cultures and, in the biomedical industry, for the long-term preservation of vaccines, purified proteins, and biological materials.
To aid lyophilization, OPS Diagnostics has developed three proprietary formulations for freeze drying. The first, Microbial Freeze Drying Buffer, is used for the preservation of microorganisms, while the second, Lyophilization Reagent (2X) was designed to simplify protein lyophilization. Lastly, the Freeze Drying Indicator is a colorimetric reagent that changes color during the lyophilization process, thus giving the user a real-time measurement of dryness.