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New mobile cooling device will ease vaccine transportation in developing countries

Vaccine transportation in developing countries could be drastically improved thanks to an innovative mobile cooling device designed at Loughborough University.

Industrial Design and Technology student William Broadway has developed ISOBAR – a portable cooling system that can keep vaccines cold for up to six days and can be recharged on the go in just over an hour.

The invention, which can be charged using electricity or propane gas, is incorporated into a lightweight backpack and keeps vaccines at a steady cool temperature – stopping them from going off or losing potency.

ISOBAR has been designed for use in developing countries, where limited access to electricity and healthcare centres means rural vaccine delivery can be challenging. 

It works by combining chemicals to create a strong cooling effect which is much more controllable than alternative mobile methods such as ice packs, and needs minimal training to operate. It has virtually no moving parts which makes it more reliable. And because of the long life of the cooling technology, less time and fewer personnel are required to deliver the vaccines.

Inventor William, who came up with the idea whilst on a camping trip in Mexico, said:

“Not only does ISOBAR ensure the vaccines keep their full potency during transportation to hard-to-reach locations, but it also simplifies the process of transporting these vital medicines long distances.

“ISOBAR also has potential for the transportation of organs, blood and temperature sensitive medical equipment, and can hopefully go a long way towards saving lives.”

The prototype product will undergo a series of lab tests over the summer.

William has been exhibiting ISOBAR this week at New Designers – the UK’s most important graduate design exhibition. He is one of 14 Loughborough Design School students to be showcasing their final year projects there.  

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