About The Equitainer

For years, the patented Equitainer has been the gold standard for transported semen. The Equitainer has gained the reputation as the preferred cooled semen transporter trusted by veterinarians, universities and breeders around the globe.

Perfect for international shipping and for those times when you need an extra cushion of time, the Equitainer offers the longest maintenance of your shipped semen. (We even had one customer tell us that a shipment delivered 5 days post-collection, due to a customs delay, still resulted in conception!) The Equitainer also provides the highest level of protection against potential x-ray induced damage of the enclosed semen sample.

ONLY the EQUITAINER Keeps its Temperature in the Cargo Hold of a Plane

The Equitainer is designed to maintain precise cooling even in the most unfavorable environments, such as the cargo hold of a plane (click here to see research data). Whatever the outside conditions, the Equitainer cools the semen at a slow, controlled rate from the moment you shut the lid. Correct cooling is essential to avoid damage to the sperm membrane. Faster cooling or fluctuations in temperature have been shown to reduce fertility. Thousands of farms worldwide now ship with confidence in the Equitainer.

ONLY the EQUITAINER Can be Opened by Airport Security without Harming the Sample

The patented Isothermalizer maintains the cooling regime and protects the sample to allow security inspections. New airport and government regulations will require much stricter surveillance of all cargo and baggage.

ONLY the EQUITAINER Shields your Sample Against X-rays

Powerful x-ray machines are also being setup to fight terrorism in airports across the United States. Lighter lead foil pouches cannot withstand the power of the x-ray machines used in the cargo area. Only the combination of the x-ray protectant shielding the Isothermalizer and in the lid of the Equitainer sufficiently protects the sample and reduces the potential of x-ray induced damage on the sample.

X-Ray Information:

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - When radiation damages the DNA of mice, the damage is not limited to the animal exposed to the radiation, researchers in the UK report. The results of a new study show that this radiation-induced damage to DNA is passed on not only to the mouse's offspring, but to the next generation of mice as well.

Elevated mutation rates in the germ line of first- and second-generation offspring of irradiated male mice.

Barber R , Plumb MA , Boulton E , Roux I , Dubrova YE
Department of Genetics, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH, United Kingdom.

Mutation rates at two expanded simple tandem repeat loci were studied in the germ line of first- and second-generation offspring of inbred male CBA/H, C57BL/6, and BALB/c mice exposed to either high linear energy transfer fission neutrons or low linear energy transfer x-rays. Paternal CBA/H exposure to either x-rays or fission neutrons resulted in increased mutation rates in the germ line of two subsequent generations. Comparable transgenerational effects were observed also in neutron-irradiated C57BL/6 and x-irradiated BALB/c mice. The levels of spontaneous mutation rates and radiation-induced transgenerational instability varied between strains (BALB/c>CBA/H>C57BL/6). Pre- and postmeiotic paternal exposure resulted in similar increases in mutation rate in the germ line of both generations of CBA/H mice, which together with our previous results suggests that radiation-induced expanded simple tandem repeat instability is manifested in diploid cells after fertilization. The remarkable finding that radiation-induced germ-line instability persists for at least two generations raises important issues of risk evaluation in humans.

Recent Results: Radiation Effects on the Genetics of Sperm

Ionizing radiation damages DNA, and thus causes mutations in the genetic material. It has been known for a long time that embryos in utero are particularly sensitive to radiation damage, and restrictions are placed on the exposure of pregnant women to Xrays. In general the effect of radiation has been the cause of greater concern for women. Download PDF Article

X-ray Permitted Dose and its Relevance to Equine Semen Transport: Shielded Equitainer

Radiation has especially damaging effects on the cell cycle, and cells that are constantly reproducing (such as the gut) are especially vulnerable. This particularly includes embryonic cells. Permitted dose limits to pregnant women are therefore lower than for the normal population. The Equitainer shielding attenuates the X-ray dose below the permitted limit for pregnant women, and may be expected to be safe for equine semen.

The Equitainer Technology

So just how does the Equitainer cool the semen sample at the optimum rate and maintain it at a final temperature for the best fertility outcomes? Well, this is where it starts to get a bit technical, so please bear with us!

The Equitainer technology works by a method called "thermal conduction," in which heat is transferred between two solid objects in contact with each other. (While the term "heat" may seem contradictory to what you might expect in a cooling system, it simply means that heat is removed from the sample, instead of coldness being sent into the sample.) Thus, when then Isothermalizer containing the sample is placed in contact with the Freezer Cans, heat is drawn out of both the Isothermalizer and the sample it contains. The x-ray shielding, which both lines the Isothermalizer wells and Isothermalizer bottom, assists in this heat transfer process. This is why it is crucial that there is direct contact between the sample and the Isothermalizer, and that both wells of the Isothermalizer are filled (this is also why the older model Equitainer requires the use of Ballast Bags).

However, unless this heat removal process is controlled, the sample will be cooled too quickly. This is where the Isothermalizer truly comes into play. The vinyl base of Isothermalizer acts as a "thermal impedance" that precisely controls the rate at which heat is removed from the sample. Without the use of a thermal impedance barrier, the sample may cool too quickly, resulting in "cold shock" to the sperm. Cold shock has been shown to dramatically reduce the viability and fertilizing capacity of equine sperm.

The insulating capacity of the Equitainer helps maintain the interior temperature, regardless of the external conditions. Also, since the design of the Equitainer keeps all contents in direct contact, its position during shipping does not affect the cooling rate. The Equitainer takes approximately 10 hours to reach its final internal temperature of 5ºC (42ºC).

Schematic Diagram of the Inside of Equitainer when Loaded with Sample (tube style Isothermalizer)

Schematic Diagram of the Inside of Equitainer when Loaded with Sample (cup style Isothermalizer)

Design Features

The Equitainer has been designed to provide durability, convenience and sample protection. Features include:

- Built-in x-ray protection: x-ray shielding in the Equitainer lid reduces potential harmful effects of airport x-rays
- Redesigned Isothermalizer: uses centrifuge tubes for easy sample handling (also perfect for shipping cooled embryos) and features built-in X-ray protection
- Recessed latch: increases durability during shipping and protects against bent latches
- Recessed hinge: increases durability during shipping and prevents "popped" rivets
- In-mold graphics: helps maintain a "just-like-new" appearance

What You Get

Equitainer - Tube Style
1 Equitainer Container
1 Tube Style Isothermalizer
2 Freezer Cans
6 Centrifuge Tubes (50 ml)
1 Spring Lock
Warning Label
Instruction Booklet

Equitainer - Cup Style   
1 Equitainer Container
1 Cup Style Isothermalizer
2 Freezer Cans
2 Ballast Bags
1 Sterile Cup
1 Spring Lock
Warning Label
Instruction Booklet

Physical Specifications

The Equitainer is constructed of molded polyethylene and copolymer, designed to withstand the rigors of repeated shipping. The spring lock, internal rubber ring and inherent insulation capability of the Equitainer create a airtight seal and maintain internal temperature.

Dimensions: 17 3/4 in. in height, 10 in. wide, 10 in. deep
Shipping Weight (fully loaded)
Tube Style: ~13 pounds
Cup Style: ~12 pounds

The Equitainer Components

While the insulation and physical protection offered by the Equitainer itself are important, the components used in the Equitainer are critical for optimal cooling and maintenance of the sample. Proper storage and usage of the Equitainer components are required and substitutes should not be used.

Tube Style Isothermalizer
Cup Style Iosthermalizer
Lead-lined Isothermailzer Cover
Freezer Cans
Centifuge Tubes
Ballast Bags
Sterile Cup
Tube Style Isothermalizer with Built-In X-Ray Protection