Freezerworks Unlimited

Searching for Aliquots in Numeric Freezer Subdivisions

When performing an Advanced Search for Aliquots using Freezer Subdivisions, you may have noticed that Freezerworks Unlimited does not locate all of the appropriate aliquots.

Let’s look at an example. We would like to find all aliquots that are stored in Freezer 1,

Rack B, Boxes 5 – 12. Each Rack in this freezer contains a maximum of 12 Boxes, so we would expect to be able to create the Advanced Search like this:

Freezer Name is equal to Freezer 1

and Subdivision 1 is equal to B

and Subdivision 2 is greater than or equal to 5

If there are aliquots in all boxes, we would expect to see aliquots from Boxes 5 – 12. However, Freezerworks only locates aliquots contained in Boxes 5 – 9. Why? The reason is due to the way these data are stored. Despite the fact that the boxes are labeled as numbers, the values are stored as alphanumeric data. Here’s what this means:

During the above search, Freezerworks looks for all boxes that start with “5” or above. Remember, these are not numeric values, they are just characters. Therefore, Freezerworks does not find Boxes 10, 11 and 12 because they start with a “1”.

A workaround is to create the following Advanced Search:

Subdivision 2 is equal to 5

or Subdivision 2 is equal to 6

or Subdivision 2 is equal to 7

or Subdivision 2 is equal to 8

or Subdivision 2 is equal to 9

or Subdivision 2 is equal to 10

or Subdivision 2 is equal to 11

or Subdivision 2 is equal to 12

and Subdivision 1 is equal to B

and Freezer Name is equal to Freezer 1

The Box subdivision must be listed first, then we narrow down the search to a specific Rack and Freezer.