The Cold Chain: Enabling Cord Blood Breakthroughs

The COVID pandemic was the first time that many people had heard about the biopharmaceutical cold chain. While the mRNA vaccines require ultra-cold temperatures to protect their efficacy, today most medical breakthroughs involve some degree of temperature control from the time they are manufactured until the moment of the patient encounter.

Consider last week’s news item that a third patient was recently cured of HIV using cord blood. Over the last 30+ years millions of patients have been diagnosed with HIV. Thanks to powerful antivirals and prophylactic treatments, a condition that was once labeled as a death sentence is now a chronic illness that most patients manage and with high quality of life. But for patients that continue to struggle with the effects of HIV, this latest breakthrough offers hope.

Cord blood is rich source of stem cells and other cells of the immune system. The innovation of cord blood banking first emerged in the late 1990s. It wasn’t long before expectant mothers were routinely offered the option to store their infants’ cord blood through a private arrangement for potential familial future usage. Mothers were often given the opportunity to donate cord blood for research purposes as well.

Cord blood cells are highly sensitive to temperature fluctuations. While en route to the facility where the vital resource will ultimately be stored, it is imperative that cells are not exposed to temperature fluctuations outside of 39-86 F degrees. Failing to protect stem cells during transit can limit the viability of the cord blood and possibly compromise the process of screening the cells for infectious disease.

So what should a cord blood kit contain in order to ensure that the cells are preserved for future research or transplant?

High performance thermal material

The best defense against temperature fluctuations is integrated thermal insulation proven to sustain profile extremes. AeroSafe Global’s vacuum insulated panels (VIP) are proven to provide superior insulating capabilities. Just ask NASA (next time you see an astronaut eating ice cream in space, you’ll know what company helped keep it from melting).

Phase change material (PCM)

Advanced PCM requires no active charging to achieve temperature control. The goal of these plates is to augment the VIP liners of the shipper box to absorb or release energy as needed based on what the box is experiencing during transit. This helps achieve moderation for up to 72 hours.

Temperature indicators

Today thanks to advanced IoT that is smaller, faster and less costly than ever before, there is no reason not to equip precious cargo with devices capable of monitoring ambient temperature. Should the unthinkable happen with a temperature excursion, this small device will alert the end user upon opening the box during receipt.

To learn more about AeroSafe’s specialized thermal controlled solutions to protect the integrity of your medical breakthroughs, click here or get in touch with a member of our team.

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