Pro-Lab Professionals Blog

Microbank® – The Original Bead System

Posted by Daniel Portillo, COO on Dec 1, 2021 9:00:00 AM



Have you ever considered a more efficient way to restore fastidious bacteria or track thousands of organisms stored for future use? The homemade versions of bacterial storage and recovery can cause contamination, delay, and confusion.

This guide will help you to understand the benefits of Pro Lab Diagnostics’ Microbank®, so you can stay focused on regrowing your cultures effectively and changing the world for the better.


What is Microbank®?

Pro-Lab Diagnostics’ Microbank® is a ready-to-use system designed to simplify the storage and retrieval of bacterial and fungal cultures. It is comprised of a unique cryovial system incorporating treated beads and a special cryopreservative solution.

For example, we know it can be frustrating when you have thousands of samples and vials that are getting disorganized and contaminated and no history of the isolate. Imagine that familiar feeling of defeat when you find yourself defrosting a whole batch of organisms when you only needed one…

During the 2014 campaign and launch of the Mars 2020, Perseverance Rover, scientists also recognized a need for a complete, organized, and sterile way to collect the samples of chemicals, minerals, physical and organic characteristics of the Martian rocks. Microbank® played a part in storing those organisms for years which have allowed scientists to better understand our place in the universe and search for possibility of life beyond Earth (Mars 2020 – NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory).

It's a special moment in history knowing that specific organisms that are typically found on Earth were found throughout this research and other samples that were collected are still in the process of being classified as strains that have never been seen before.

Let’s look at understanding the simplicity of Microbank® with this step-by-step process of its use.


Easy as 1,2,3…

The concept is straightforward and all you will need to get started is a Microbank® kit filled with your choosing of color-coded vials, and the Microbank® Scoop (All Sold Together!)

From there, follow these steps:

  1. Inoculate the broth with a fresh culture into the vial.
  2. Close the vial and invert 4-5 times to emulsify the organism into the beads.
  3. Aspirate excessive cryopreservative using a sterile pipette and only freeze the beads in the vial.
  4. Store inoculated cryovial in an available freezer or liquid nitrogen.
  5. For a fresh culture, simply remove a single bead from the vial and place into nutrient broth or plate.
               A. Our Microbank Scoop is available to remove beads easily
               B. In addition, our 20 vial carrier Cryoblock™ is available to avoid thawing of your vials by extending the “freezing                 time” by approximately 30 minutes.
  6. Remaining beads are stored back into the freezer with no thawing or ice scraping.


Microbank® has been proven to be stored in temperatures as low as -80°C for up to 20 years. Freezers that will only go as low as -20°C, Microbank® can be stored for 1-5 years (Check that out in our Performance Portfolio). Active studies are still in process to show the dependability of Microbank®.

Each Microbank® is supplied with 2D barcodes allowing for easy sample identification and various colored caps for culture organization. There are 5 different colors available that are all chemically identical – blue, light blue, red, green, and yellow.

Microbank® has shown it is an easier and more effective method than buying expensive culture stock and reducing probability of contamination. It's main benefits include being accessible and reliable, while having the ability to retrieve your stored organism up to 25 times.



5 Different Colors for Lab Organization



We’re Only Getting Started

Microbank® is the best system for long term storage and recovery of bacterial cultures. It has been the trusted original ready-to-use product for the long-term storage and retrieval of bacterial and fungal isolates for over 35 years.

Incorporating this simple 6-step, organized, and effective system into your daily routine will help to minimize frustration and enhance efficiency of your culture recovery.

Future plans for Pro-Lab and the evolution of Microbank® consist of integrated software to incorporate a reliable and custom cloud database to expand organization.

For more information on Microbank®, email or click here to order your Microbank® today!

Leave a comment below to tell us how your experience with Microbank® has enhanced your processes.



(“Mars 2020 – NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.” NASA, NASA,


Continued Reading

Don’t take our word for it - CLICK HERE - to read more from the Journal of Clinical Microbiology discussing the effects and long-term preservation of fungal isolates in regard to Microbank®

“The advantage of using Microbank® system over the other cryogenic systems (4, 7, 9, 11, 14, 16) is its commercial availability. The time-consuming procedure of preparing other preservative devices such as drink straws (16) or cryogenic fluid is avoided; Microbank® vials are stored at room temperature prior to use. The harvesting of individual isolates is easier than that described by Pasarell and McGinnis (14), in which a portion of the frozen culture is chipped and subcultured. Because vials should not be outside the low-temperature device for more than 3 minutes to avoid thawing, it is recommended that the frozen vials be placed in an insulated Cryoblock during harvesting.”

Topics: biotech

Microbank Organism Storage System

"The freezer bead solution."

Microbank is used for any organism or fungi, cryobeads bacteria, cryobank bead system, cryobeads, organism storage, preservation of bacterial culture in glycerol, long-term storage of bacterial cultures. Microbank uses porous ceramic beads in place of glass beads for bacterial and fungal culture cryopreservation.


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