RFID chip monitors blood, sensitive freight

Dec 22, 2010

In cooperation with partners, Siemens has developed a system that continuously monitors highly sensitive products with the help of RFID chips. Originally conceived for use with banked blood, the chips are now also being used when shipping sensitive goods. The key element is the integrated temperature sensor, which provides important data about the condition of a product. The chip also boasts an impressive service life and robustness. Battery life is as long as three years; the sensor is watertight and resistant to X-rays as well as voltages of 18 kilovolts; and it can also withstand falls from a height of 1.5 meters without damage.

Blood is precious. According to the German Red Cross, roughly five million units of banked blood are needed in Germany each year, with 75 million units needed worldwide. There are generally fewer donors than recipients, which is why thorough documentation — and thus prevention of spoiled blood due to a break in the cooling chain or an exceeded expiration date — is so important. Unspoiled blood saves lives, and as much as €1 million a year can be saved by avoiding waste. The chips are now being successfully used at three Asklepios hospitals in Hamburg, Germany.

The biggest technical challenge is the need to protect the chip against the powerful forces at work in centrifuges, where it is subjected to as much as 5,000 G. The battery and the survives undamaged in a specially developed housing. A micro-controller stores up to 30,000 measurements by the integrated temperature sensor and continuously plots the temperature curve.

DB Schenker, a global German logistics firm, and the world’s largest diagnostic company now also uses the clever chips to continuously monitor the temperature of sensitive air freight, such as medicines. On the chips is mounted a small green LED which shows the function of the data logger. If the temperature exceeds or falls below the predefined limit, the LED blinks multiple times in a row every six seconds as a warning. This enables the recipient to recognize that the contents may have been damaged immediately upon opening the package. To find out for certain, the recipient places the chip in a reader, which transfers the data to a computer. The system is GMP produced and qualified and can be delivered with a three year valid on-board calibration certificate.

Explore further: Wireless sensor transmits tumor pressure

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Intelligent blood bags

Dec 01, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Have the blood supplies got too warm? Do they match the patient?s blood group? In the future, these kinds of questions will be answered by intelligent radio nodes attached to blood bags. These ...

New concept for bendable packaged ultra-thin chips presented

Apr 04, 2006

IMEC and its associated laboratory INTEC of the University of Ghent jointly developed a new process flow for ultra-thin chip packages resulting in bendable packaged chips of only 50µm thickness. The technology enables embedding ...

RFID Chips Make Luggage Transport Reliable

Apr 29, 2008

Transporting passenger baggage between the world’s airports is expected to become far more reliable in the future — with RFID technology. Siemens has developed a system that relies on a radio chip to replace ...

A Better Way to Cool Computer Chips Receives Support

Mar 29, 2006

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside investigating better ways to cool today’s high-performance computer microprocessors have received $275,000 from the National Science Foundation to further their work.

Recommended for you

Wireless sensor transmits tumor pressure

Sep 20, 2014

The interstitial pressure inside a tumor is often remarkably high compared to normal tissues and is thought to impede the delivery of chemotherapeutic agents as well as decrease the effectiveness of radiation ...

Seeing through the fog (and dust and snow) of war

Sep 19, 2014

Degraded visibility—which encompasses diverse environmental conditions including severe weather, dust kicked up during takeoff and landing and poor visual contrast among different parts of terrain—often ...

The oscillator that could makeover the mechanical watch

Sep 18, 2014

For the first time in 200 years the heart of the mechanical watch has been reinvented, thereby improving precision and autonomy while making the watch completely silent. EPFL researchers have developed an ...

User comments : 0