The key difference between histofreezer and liquid nitrogen is that the histofreezer is a cryogenic material containing a mixture of dimethyl ether and propane whereas the liquid nitrogen is a cryogenic fluid containing nitrogen in a liquid state.
Cryogenics is a field of science in which we study the behaviour of materials at extremely low temperatures. Cryogenic fluids are the mediums that we use to store the materials at very low temperatures. Histofreezer and liquid nitrogen are two such cryogenic fluids.
What is Histofreezer?
Histofreezer is a cryogenic material that we call a “cryogen”. It is an environmentally safe mixture of dimethyl ether and propane. These are gaseous components. Therefore, when we spray these gases onto a fam bud through an applicator, it produces a lower temperature that is around -55°C via its heat of vaporization. The scientist Dr William Swart invented this cryogen while trying to find an alternative to liquid nitrogen. He tried to find this alternative because of the intolerable freezing temperature of liquid nitrogen. Thus, the freezing temperature of histofreezer is warmer than liquid nitrogen. However, this cryogen is more expensive because it has a high cost per freeze. Moreover, it can give fewer freezes per one canister, and it has a short shelf life and expiration date.
When considering the efficacy of histofreezer, its efficacy has been proved through 19 years of studies. It is easier and faster than cutting or burning, and it is less invasive as well. Moreover, it is very safe for patients and the environment as well. It also provides a simple, one-handed use with a low risk for the user.
What is Liquid Nitrogen?
Liquid nitrogen is nitrogen in a liquid state. This liquid exists at extremely low temperatures. The boiling point is around −195.79 °C. It is colourless and clear. The scientist Zygmunt Wróblewski and Karol Olszewski invented this compound.
Liquid nitrogen is a cryogenic fluid. It can cause rapid freezing when contact with living tissues. We can store this liquid safely in vacuum flasks, but the slow boiling of the liquid cause evolution of nitrogen gas. Moreover, we should handle this compound very carefully because it can cause cold burns. Therefore, we should use special gloves when handling this liquid. In addition to that, it can reduce the oxygen content in air and acts as an asphyxiant. When using it as a cryogen, scientists often tend to search for alternatives because the freezing temperature of this cryogen is intolerable to many patients.
What is the Difference Between Histofreezer and Liquid Nitrogen?
Histofreezer is a cryogenic material which we call a “cryogen”. It contains a mixture of dimethyl ether and propane in gaseous form. Liquid nitrogen, on the other hand, is a cryogenic fluid. It contains nitrogen in its liquid state. This is one main difference between histofreezer and liquid nitrogen. More importantly, the freezing temperature of histofreezer is -55°C and also it has a tolerable freezing temperature. Whereas, the freezing temperature of the liquid nitrogen is −195.79 °C. Therefore, it has an intolerable freezing temperature. Therefore, the freezing temperature is another important difference between histofreezer and liquid nitrogen. Apart from that, histofreezer is environmentally safe. But, liquid nitrogen can reduce the oxygen in air by acting as an asphyxiant.
Summary – Histofreezer vs Liquid Nitrogen
Both histofreezer and liquid nitrogen are cryogens. The key difference between histofreezer and liquid nitrogen is that histofreezer contains a mixture of dimethyl ether and propane whereas the liquid nitrogen contains nitrogen in a liquid state.
1. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. “Liquid Nitrogen Facts.” ThoughtCo, Jun. 22, 2018. Available here