Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Disposable temperature logger suits cold chain monitoring

Steve Rogerson
February 5, 2015
Dutch semiconductor company NXP and Finish-based Enfucell have jointly developed a disposable temperature logging foil demonstrator for cold chain monitoring. This supports logging functionality similar to that of a reusable logger, but for where form factor and product cost do enable item level logging. The foil contains NXP’s NHS3100 IC, Enfucell’s printed battery and an NFC antenna.
Biopharmaceutical products such as vaccines, hormones and blood play an increasingly important role in the pharmaceutical industry. To be effective and safe, these products have to be kept in the cold chain from production to administration. Cold chain monitoring is mostly done using either chemical temperature loggers or reusable electronic loggers, both of which have problems.
Chemical temperature loggers can only detect simple cold chain excursion and do not indicate when the event occurred. Reusable electronic loggers are expensive and bulky, therefore are only deployed at pallet and not item level. Moreover it is cumbersome to recycle them.
The NHS3100 is a single chip for temperature logging. It integrates an accurate to 0.3ËšC temperature sensor, NFC interface, time reference, non-volatile temperature logging memory and programmable Arm Cortex M0+ processor.
The programmable architecture provides biopharmaceutical manufacturers with the option to define a product-specific temperature excursion limit profile. Different from the simple caloric model used in chemical loggers, the more elaborate profile can reduce product waste in the logistic chain. The internal time reference provides traceability across the logistics chain of exposure beyond excursion limits. The embedded NFC interface supports read-out of the product’s status by means of an NFC-enabled smart phone or reader, at any point in the logistic chain or by medical staff administering the product.
Enfucell’s battery technology is a thin, flexible and eco-friendly power source that can be printed onto the flexible foil. The demonstrator’s battery capacity and the low power characteristics of the NHS3100 provide a shelf life of a year, and support active logging for two years after activation.
This product will support reduction of biopharmaceutical waste, increase safety and efficacy of biopharmaceutical products, and provide visibility on when and where the product was handled incorrectly.