Invidium was an element with many uses, although very dangerous if handled inappropriately. This element was an almost permeable substance used in biological containment vessels for operations involving a type of virus culture.
In 2366, the USS Enterprise-D was transporting a shipment from the Mikulaks when Lieutenant Reginald Barclay broke a container. Although the container was removed from the ship, the ship was unknowingly contaminated with invidium. The substance then began wreaking havoc on ship's systems, including causing the replicators to malfunction. One other side effect was that it caused a drinking glass to melt in the hand of Lieutenant jg Duffy.
The engineering team realized the Mikulaks still used invidium and took appropriate measures to repair the damage caused to the ship. Barclay stated that invidium became inert at −200 °C and the crew lowered the temperature of the affected systems to that temperature in order to render the substance harmless. Afterward, the ship was decontaminated at Starbase 121. (TNG: "Hollow Pursuits")