Technologies

Portable Temperature Regulating Device for Medical and Temperature-Sensitive Products Packaging and Transportation

Tech ID: TP-W-BJ-031

Summary

A customizable portable device to precisely control and monitor the product temperature during transportation without any external power source.

Background

Transportation and shipment of temperature-sensitive items in a controlled manner is critical in a wide range of applications and it also has many associated challenges. For example, in the field of medicine, improper handling of temperature-sensitive products, such as, vaccines, biological samples, bio-organisms, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, cells, tissues and organs for transplantation can result in product deterioration or loss, and have a significant negative impact on human health. Temperature-controlled packaging (TCP) is utilized in the shipment of temperature-controlled products.

Most of the current TCP systems in use today only have the ability to lower a temperature through cooling or raise a temperature through heating, relative to a reference or set temperature. Products, particularly those biological in nature, require precise temperature control often within a few degrees, depending on the product and duration of storage or transportation. This presents a problem however, as current systems lack the ability to precisely control the temperature above and below the reference or set temperature, which itself may need to change during the transportation due to changing surrounding conditions or the requirements of the product itself. Variation of ambient temperatures during storage or transportation present a huge challenge for products that require a set temperature within a narrow range. For example, the surrounding temperature of a product can rapidly increase to well over 30 Celsius during transportation on an airport tarmac during summer, but once in the air, the surrounding temperature can drop significantly.

Current TCP systems that rely on active temperature adjustment (such as thermoelectric heat pumps or ‘Peltier coolers’ for cooling purposes or an electric heater for heating purposes), are limited due to the need of a power source for heating or cooling. Considering the energy demand, substantially large battery packs are necessary, which have their own safety concerns. Passive TCP portable devices that rely on passive thermal storage such as ice packs, neither have the ability to regulate the temperature nor to adjust it.

A good example is the ice packed containers widely used for vaccine preservation and transportation. Most vaccines are highly temperature sensitive (to be kept in a narrow range of 2-8 oC). The current ice packed containers do not have the capability to actively regulate the temperature and hence freeze damage is a problem, well-recognized by the World Health Organization. In addition, the current passive systems do not have the capability to vary the setpoint temperature, particularly during transportation. For example, some food products may need temperature variation during transportation e.g. below freezing during most of the duration but needs to be raised to above freezing before delivery.

Technology Overview

A portable dynamic temperature regulating device has been developed at Western University to address these limitations. The developed technology has the ability to control and maintain a constant-set point temperature, independent of the surrounding temperatures. Through the combination of a passive thermal energy storage and active temperature control, this novel technology has the capability to precisely monitor and control the temperature at any setpoint, addressing current challenges in the temperature sensitive supply chain. Furthermore, the technology not only maintains a set temperature, but also has the ability to dynamically adjust the product storage condition over a wide temperature range during transport, without a need for an external active power source.

In addition to controlling temperatures within critical ranges, our novel control system provides continuous temperature monitoring and logging. Real-time, instantaneous alerts and feedback can be available throughout the entire duration of transportation. These alerts can be sent either locally or remotely in the low likely event of temperature departures from the critical range. This can further reduce any likely damage due to temperature variation by shifting from a reactive response with costly consequences, to a proactive response that can stop any damage before it occurs. The technology is designed to be highly scalable and customizable to fit both small and large scale temperature control applications. The technology also provides flexibility in customizing the setpoint temperature or dynamically adjusting it during transportation. The customizable nature of the technology also allows integration with an existing TCP device.

While simple in concept, this technology, with both its flexibility to adapt to any optimal temperature range and its ease of control, monitoring and handling, would represent a paradigm change in the temperature sensitive transportation sector. From food delivery to vaccine transportation to organ transplantation, this technology and device is capable of becoming a critical component in the future of temperature-controlled packaging.

Benefits

  • Flexibility: maintain a constant temperature or vary the temperature of the organ as needed.
  • Adaptability: easily change or ramp temperatures as more data defining ideal temperatures and more agents to reduce injury become clinically available.
  • Portability: convenient size to transport organs within hospitals, and in current vehicles and aircraft.
  • Customizability: customizable to any size, temperature range and control duration.
  • Innovative temperature control mechanism: continuous real-time monitoring and tracking, alert notifications, powered by an internal battery pack.
  • Compatibility: could be integrated to current TCP transport container.

Applications

  • The technology has a broad spectrum of applications whenever a highly sensitive temperature control transportation of samples or products is needed, ex: clinical trial and research, veterinary, pharmaceutical, biological, medical, vaccines, organ preservation, food supply chain, etc.

Opportunity

We are seeking a receptor for commercializing and further developing the device.

Seeking

  • Commercial partner
  • Development partner
  • Licensing
  • Seeking investment

IP Status

PCT patent application filed

Request More Info

Tamer Mohamed

Business Development Manager

+1.519.661.2111 x84597

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