Compound storage made simple

Roylan Developments Ltd. is the developer, manufacturer and distributor of the proprietary StoragePod® and MultiPod® product lines.

Product innovation and international usage

Our innovative, patented StoragePod® and MultiPod® products are focused on the safe storage and handling of precious materials (including small molecule compounds) that will otherwise degrade in the presence of moisture and oxygen in ambient air. Our products are designed to provide inert environment storage, based around a modular approach to facilitate easy expansion of storage capacity.

Our StoragePod® and MultiPod® products have been installed internationally throughout a range of small to large pharmaceutical companies, Biotechs and Academic laboratories. We take pride in an excellent product reliability record and excellent performance results in compound storage. Roylan Developments is based in London, UK

small molecule compound storage

Compound storage challenges

The industry problem

Dimethyl Sulfoxide (DMSO) is the industry standard solubilization agent for small molecule compounds. DMSO has gained this status because of its properties which include excellent solubilising abilities, low reactivity (it is very inert) and thermodynamic properties such has high freezing and boiling points. However, despite its wide use, DMSO
is not without its problems.

DMSO is an aggressively hydrophilic substance, rapidly absorbing moisture from the surrounding environment at a approximate rate of 20% in 24 hours. This moisture absorption can result in irreversible damage to precious small molecule compound libraries, which are every Research Operation’s crown jewels. Moisture related damage can be seen in the following forms:

  • Dilution – DMSO can see in excess of a 20% weight gain in just 24 hours.
  • Freezing point depression – DMSO that is 20% saturated with just moisture will not freeze until below -30°C. As a result, compounds cannot be frozen, and reactions will take place allowing compound degradation.
  • Crystallisation – moisture will freeze into ice crystals, crushing solubilised compound.
  • DMSO suppression and compound precipitation – moisture absorption will supress DMSOs solubilizing performance and cause hydrate formation, causing compound to fall out of solution.

In addition to the above, compounds can be damaged by exposure to oxygen (which is highly reactive) and aggressive light conditions (which contain UV).

DMSO moisture absorption

DMSO moisture absorption is the silent killer of compound collections. A major factor in achieving good compound storage conditions is to avoid exposure to moisture. In recent years providers of automated storage systems have been manufacturing storage systems that maintain compounds within inert (and temperature controlled) environments.

However, these systems are generally large and expensive, making them available to only large Research Operations for their central compound storage efforts. Roylan’s StoragePod and MultiPod compound storage solutions are intended to overcome this barrier. Providing low entry level cost, modular systems, that place a focus on maintaining compound quality.

How should compounds be stored?

Compounds should ideally be stored in the following conditions:

  • A moisture free environment (to stop moisture absorption).
  • An oxygen free environment (to stop oxygen reactions).
  • A dark environment (to stop UV damage).

Provided the above storage conditions are employed, compounds can be stored for long periods of time and reaccessed on multiple occasions.

Freeze thaw cycles are sometimes considered to be damaging to compounds, with Research Professionals often referring to their compounds falling out of solution as a result. However, this freeze thaw related damage has been traced to the presence of moisture in DMSO.

There has now been substantial research that concludes compounds suspended in moisture free DMSO, can be subjected to multiple freeze thaw cycles without damage.

These compound management objectives are all satisfied by Roylan’s StoragePod and MultiPod compound storage solutions.

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Compound storage solutions

What is StoragePod intended to do?

StoragePod is a modular compound storage solution, designed to stop damaging exposure to moisture and oxygen when storing, handling and delivering small molecule compounds.

The StoragePod system was conceived to be low cost, modular, easy to use and one that could be applied as not only a device to maintain compounds during basic storage, but also maintain compounds during distribution and delivery between chemistry, storage and screening. Additionally, StoragePods can be used to recover samples by removing moisture from the DMSO they are solubilized in.

A StoragePod system is comprised of a benchtop controller instrument and as many storage enclosures (StoragePods) as the end user requires to meet their storage needs.

Compounds in SBS format plates or racks of tubes may be placed within the StoragePods, which can be manually hermetically sealed in a matter of seconds. The StoragePods may then be connected to the StoragePod Controller, which will flush the connected StoragePod with inert nitrogen gas until a user-defined level of nitrogen purity is reached.

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