What are Cryogenic Labels?

Cryo or cryogenic labels are designed to tolerate extended storage in liquid or vapor phase liquid nitrogen and ultra-low temperature freezers. The face material and adhesive of cryogenic labels are created to remain intact when stored under extremely cold temperatures, and usually for an extended period of time. If labels not engineered for this purpose are used in these conditions, you risk labels falling off the container and ultimately leading to a loss of sample integrity.

How are Cryo Labels Used?

Cryo labels are most commonly used for medical research and in clinical laboratories, fertility clinics, and biobanks. Some items these labels are commonly used on are:

  • Cryo vials
  • Microtubes
  • Cryo boxes
  • Tube and vial camps
  • Other cryogenic containers

Cryogenic labels are typically available for thermal-transfer, direct thermal, laser, and inkjet printers.

When using cryogenic labels, there are some important factors to consider. There are multiple stages of the cryogenic freezing process. The first stage, sometimes called the deep freeze, can reach temperatures as low as -80°C. The second stage is the vapor phase, which can reach temperatures as low as -120°C. Lastly, is the liquid nitrogen storage stage which can reach temperatures as low as -196°C. It is very important that you know what stage your cryo labels are engineered for.

How to Apply Cryo-Labels

Application is critical when applying cryogenic labels. There are three main ways it can be done: manual, automated and pre-barcoding.


This application is exactly what it sounds like – labels are applied directly to containers by hand.


Automation equipment can also be used to apply labels to tubes and vials. Varying degrees of human involvement still exist with this option of application.


Some facilities supply labware with labels already applied. This allows your lab to completely avoid in-house labeling.

This option may not always be practical, however. If your lab utilizes a highly customized internal numbering system or requires information to be printed that isn’t known ahead of time, other options are better suited for you.

Cryo Labels at Nev’s Ink

Nev’s Ink, Inc. Brand cryogenic storage labels offer adhesive that is designed to withstand extreme cold temperatures from -196° C (-311°F). Our labels can be printed on and will not bleed. We offer cryo labels in an array of sizes and colors on rolls or laser sheets. Click here to shop all of our cryo labels or call us at 800-638-7465 for custom orders!

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