MTC develops temperature controlled vaccine storage

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An intelligent, temperature-controlled vessel for the storage and distribution of vaccines has been developed by engineers at the Manufacturing Technology Centre.

The MTC developed vaccine vessel (Image: MTC)

Developed initially for the storage and transport temperature-sensitive Covid vaccines, the vessel can now store different types of vaccines and medical supplies. The product is ready to be scaled up and supplied to the pharmaceutical industry following successful trials.

According to MTC, the vessel is temperature-controlled using a process which distributes cold air throughout its compartments. It is said to have live location and temperature tracking, allowing the distribution process to be monitored, and audited using a historic data log.

Rolls-Royce and ChefsFridge design vaccine storage pods

Coventry-based MTC added that it has built-in vaccine protection with a self-closing lid and real-time condition LED indicators. Cross-vessel communication allows the units to share information and alert users to any problems.

Funding from the High Value Manufacturing Catapult helped to accelerate the vessel’s development from concept to product.

"This product supports not only the ongoing pandemic, but also provides a solution for any temperature-critical transportable pharma goods,” said Danny McGee, associate director at the MTC. “The product is a fine example of how innovation can have a direct and beneficial impact on society."

MTC design engineer Harmail Sandhu said that in the UK some 60 per cent of wasted vaccines were the result of fridge-related failures, and as more vaccines were produced this figure could increase if the infrastructure remained the same.

"Solving issues with vaccination distribution and storage was identified as the most impactful way the MTC could help in the fight against Covid-19. The hard work of the team has resulted in a successful outcome with the potential to make more vaccines available throughout the world by reducing wastage," he said in a statement.

In a similar, unrelated development Rolls-Royce announced in July, 2021 that it had teamed up with food technology company ChefsFridge Co. to develop ArcticRx, a low-temperature pod for storing and transporting Covid-19 vaccines.