Physics

Biopsy frozen in seconds in the operating room

For rapid freezing of a biopsy sample taken from a patient, the standard procedure uses liquid nitrogen. However, this is not allowed inside the operating room. The consequence is a laborious procedure causing unnecessary delay. Researchers of the University of Twente developed a 'snap freezing' apparatus that cools a vial even faster than in liquid nitrogen, and is safe for use inside the operating room. Another advantage is that the speed of cooling is adjustable. The new device is presented in Nature's Scientific Reports. The Dutch VUmc hospital is already running experiments using the new device.