Mike Blazes

Michael Blazes is the Chief Executive and champion for Control Company, the laboratory test, measurement, and monitoring instrument company that has been bringing innovative Traceable® branded products to prominent biopharmaceutical and healthcare organizations and institutions around the world for the past 40 years. Mike has 20 years’ experience in the laboratory products and equipment industry. He brings a commitment to developing and manufacturing the most reliable biopharmaceutical packaging, research and manufacturing tools, and test, measurement and monitoring instruments. By working with key opinion leaders and innovators, Mike and his teams’ focus has always been on leveraging technology and optimized processes to make healthcare more effective, efficient and productive. Mike’s experience was founded in education at the United States Air Force Academy, and advanced with a graduate degree from Colorado State University.
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Recent Posts

How to Perform a Self Audit Before a Vaccine Storage Regulatory Audit

Posted by Mike Blazes on 22 November, 2017

Vaccine storage is vital to maintaining the accuracy and efficacy of the vaccines administered today. Whether it be in a doctor’s office, medical research facility, hospital or outpatient clinic, vaccine storage requires reliable monitoring  to verify the correct temperature and environmental conditions. Vaccines can be ruined due to careless handling, and without proper monitoring could be administered ineffective. Regulatory organizations perform standard audits to examine procedures for vaccine storage. To ensure your storage methods meet required guidelines, follow these five steps.

1. Timing. Before you even begin the storage methods of vaccines, establish a schedule for ordering, whatever type of vaccines it might be. For instance, vaccinations for the flu season can begin as early as August. If you are a healthcare provider, determine when you will begin to administer the vaccine and build out a calendar from that. Vaccines have a shelf life, and their efficacy diminishes beyond it; ordering a supply of vaccines to sit on the shelf for an extended period won’t bode well.

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Topics: Ever Wondered....?

Why Calibration is Key

Posted by Mike Blazes on 26 October, 2017

Calibration is one of those elements of lab management that is all-encompassing. Wherever there are processes monitoring temperature, testing that relies on controlled environments or storage of sensitive materials, samples or lab equipment, calibration is at the core. Why? Because it is what the ensures the validity of key instruments such as thermometers that produce the results, that maintain the integrity of samples and reliability of equipment. And, since temperature is one of the most universal and impactful parameters in a laboratory, the calibration must be done correctly and consistently. The temperature in a laboratory setting may influence:

  • Test results;
  • Effectiveness and stability;
  • Accuracy and precision;
  • Shelf-life and efficacy;
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Topics: Calibration

What’s The Fuss About Humidity?

Posted by Mike Blazes on 29 September, 2017

In order to understand why monitoring humidity is important, you need to understand what humidity is. Humidity is the amount of water vapor present in the air referred to as absolute humidity. Water vapor is the gaseous state of water and is invisible to the human eye. Relative humidity is how saturated a space or a gas is with water vapor. It is the most commonly used measure of humidity and is generally expressed as a percentage with the symbol “%rh.” 

When people say the humidity bothers them more than the heat, they are referring to the fact that when there is a lot of water in the air, it feels thicker and hotter and less comfortable. Relative humidity is affected by the dew point temperature which is basically a measure of how much moisture is in the air. You have probably heard meteorologist talking about the dew point in weather forecasts.

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Topics: Measuring and Monitoring

5 Steps to Protect Liquid Nitrogen Dewar Contents

Posted by Mike Blazes on 05 July, 2017

 For the long-term storage of sensitive biologicals, the liquid nitrogen dewar is a system that provides the optimal environment of a stable, low-temperature necessary to maintain the life of delicate cells. The dewar is a non-pressurized vessel that is specifically designed and made of materials that have the ability to withstand the extreme temperatures associated with liquid nitrogen. Liquid nitrogen is odorless, colorless, tasteless, and nonirritating; therefore, it has no warning properties and must be carefully handled. With a boiling point at a low temperature of -196˚C, liquid nitrogen is considered a cryogenic liquid and can be used to store organisms with limited life spans.

 With cryopreservation being possible due to liquid nitrogen, medical procedures and research can be further advanced with biologicals like stem cells, tissues, and other samples being kept alive forever in liquid nitrogen dewars.

Here are five steps to protect your liquid nitrogen dewar and its contents:

  1. Use a reliable temperature monitoring system. In order to stop any biochemical reactions that could result in cellular degradation, most sensitive biologicals should be maintained at very low temperatures within the dewar. Lower storage temperatures such as -196˚C enable organisms with limited life spans to remain alive forever. The most effective method to guarantee the safety and consistently low temperature of the dewar’s contents is to implement a dependable liquid nitrogen temperature monitoring system.
  2. Always Keep the dewar upright. The dewar should remain in an  upright position at all times to ensure safe storage. Tipping the dewar over or laying it on its side could result in spillage of liquid nitrogen. Damage to the dewar or to any materials stored within could occur as well.
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Topics: Measuring and Monitoring

LN2 Dewars: Covering Your Cryo-needs

Posted by Mike Blazes on 27 June, 2017

Dewars and Cryopreservation

Liquid nitrogen is a unique substance that can be both harmful and helpful to mankind. As a liquid that exists at a very low temperature of -196˚C, liquid nitrogen has the ability to freeze human flesh rapidly. Despite the dangers of frostbite, over-pressurization, and asphyxiation, liquid nitrogen can be used for various other needs such as medical procedures, food preparation, and cryogenics. Liquid nitrogen can be stored in a dewar, a non-pressurized vacuum container that can maintain a consistent temperature allowing the nitrogen to remain in liquid form. Dewars range in capacities from 3 to 300 liters.

When liquid nitrogen is placed within a suitable dewar, the process of cryopreservation is possible. Cryopreservation allows for the preservation of biological constructs at very low temperatures used to form cryogenic liquids. At such low temperatures, any chemical activity that might cause damage to delicate biologicals is halted. Reaching low temperatures without the formation of ice halts any additional damage to the living organism, allowing the organism to live forever and be used as needed.

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Topics: Measuring and Monitoring

6 Ways to Ensure Temperature Monitoring Compliance in Vaccines for Children (VFC)

Posted by Mike Blazes on 31 May, 2017

Temperature control is integral to ensuring the validity and reliability of temperature monitoring for critical lab, research and medical environments. Recently, vaccine efficacy has come under scrutiny after a report conducted by the US Department of Health and Human Services led to concerns about potential impacts to vaccine efficacy, particularly as it pertains to children’s vaccines.

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Topics: VFC compliance

Checks and Balances of Measurement and Monitoring in a Modern Lab

Posted by Mike Blazes on 04 May, 2017

 

Something I learned early on in my career was in order to create a lasting and important impact, you need to validate it. Whatever it may be in your life— personal with family or friends or in your profession with your work— if it is really important to you, test it, try it and make it happen. For me, this is an idea I carry with me every day that I am in the lab because my mission is to impact science and research for the better of society, for people, for you and for me. And so, I approach each challenge, each issue with tenacity and optimism. To quote William Hickson, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.” 

In his annual letter for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates emphasized the importance of measurement and monitoring.  He said, “Given a goal, you decide on what key variable you need to change to achieve it. [You use the measurement as feedback to make adjustments.] He went on to say that he believes a lot of efforts fail “because they don't focus on the right measure or they don't invest enough in doing it accurately.”

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Topics: Measuring and Monitoring

Technology evolving in Measuring and Monitoring Devices 

Are you embracing technology to avoid mistakes in measuring and monitoring?

  • Is measure and monitoring boring?
  • Is your data accurate?
  • Is your process laborious?

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