7. FAQ's and Knowledgebase

Whats the best way to retireve a cryovial from the bottom of a liquid nitrogen storage dewar?

Have you lost a cryovial into the depths of your liquid nitrogen dewar and need way of retrieving it without having to drain it?

There are a few techniques you can use to deal with this following the correct safety procedures at all times:

  • Use a cooled cane or bolt grabber to handle cryovials in liquid nitrogen is highly recommended. To remove the vial from the nitrogen container, follow these steps:

1.           Remove the lid of the shipping container by pulling straight up (do not twist).

2.           Lift the canister so that the top of the cane is visible for identification.  Do not lift the top of the cane above the top of the liquid nitrogen container opening; this may result in premature thawing.

3.           Once exposed, use forceps to grasp the cryovial and remove it from the cane holder.  Replace the cane into the canister as quickly as possible, lower the canister to the bottom of the nitrogen container and replace the container top securely.


  • If you don’t have a cooled cane you can attach a tea strainer or a sieve to a wooden pole with masking tape and follow the steps above to retireve the cryovial.
  • Use an LED flashlight to aid visiblity, you want the least exposure time possible
  • You could also fill up the dewar as much as possible to see if the cryovial floats to the top

Visit Camlab for any cryogenic products or call 01954 233125 for technical support