Printed temperature sensor for drug monitoring in field

18 February, 2015 - 20:40

Heat or cold can lower the efficiency of a drug. A new all-printed, hybrid temperatur sensor in smart paper can be the solution for monitoring drugs in field in a near future. Beneli, Acreo Swedish ICT and Doctors without Borders recieved 2,5 Million SEK for further development and pilot production.

Drug transport in hot climates are particularly vulnerable, especially in conflict remote areas where transports are made under difficult conditions. This is a problem the organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) International (Doctors Without Borders) have would like to solve. In co-operation with MSF, Acreo has developed a demonstrator of an low-cost, all-printed hybrid temperature sensor for simple and efficient monitoring of drugs in field.

”The potential with the printed sensor is tremendous and will provide a much better aid allowing the end-user to determine if the product is usable or not. The further out into the field you are, the harder it is to maintain the right temperature in the logistic chain which is vitally important in maintaining the quality of the vaccine or the medicines and in the end it affects the care we give our patients. Other alternative transport solutions available today are often very expensive", says Marpe Tanaka at the Innovation Unit at MSF/Doctors Without Borders.

The temperature sensor consists of printed components and silicon chip, forming an integrated measuring system for the monitoring of temperatures. This sensor system can track if a package with sensitive drugs, such as vaccine, has been exposed to temperatures outside a predefined interval. The result is presented on the integrated display. The temperature sensor tag can also be attached on the package after a repackaging which allows for a surveillance that can be flexible and adapted to different situations.

The Idea Project for the sensor platform was within the framework for the open innovations project ”PEA Open” which is financed by the European regional development fund. The ideas have been registered by the idea carriers in an open idea platform and the idea carrier of this particular solution, for the printed temperature sensor platform, was no less than a private person. The idea was commented and discussed openly in the platform, which lead to another private person contacting MSF/Doctors Without Borders on their own initiative thinking this could be an interesting. And eventually - the platform was developed by Acreo Swedish ICT. All the ideas which were submitted were assessed by experts from Linköping University and Acreo Swedish ICT.

The temperature sensor was presented by Acreo at the major European conference and trade show for printed electronics - LOPEC - in Munchen in March.


Read more about the project


MSF/Doctors Without Borders talking about the temperature sensor


See a demonstration of the temperature sensor

Go to MSF/Doctors Without Borders

Article in HD Sydsvenskan