Cryogenic biological sample tracking was the focus of the latest project for Innova Systems customer, Cambridge Industrial Design, who have developed a patented radio frequency identity tags (RFID) system in partnership with RFID experts Cryogatt.
Traditionally, a technician would label a sample with either a barcode, or a handwritten label, which can be very time consuming, sometimes leading to deterioration of samples not in subzero storage for too long. This new procedure is set to revolutionise the process. The technician can now quickly and accurately identify, locate and audit samples stored in RFID tagged vials and fertility straws in laboratories, biobanks and fertility clinics, successfully operating at temperatures as low as -196°C.
Cambridge Industrial Design developed a full set of reader products, concentrating on usability and ergonomics, making the process of storing and locating samples simple, straightforward and fast. The new tools not only help the technician with everyday tasks – they look fantastic too with a distinct consumer electronics aesthetic. The new range of RFID readers is already being used and trialled by leading hospitals, bio banks and fertility clinics across the UK.
“At Cambridge Industrial Design, we are firm believers that every product should combine form and function – and that this applies equally to lab equipment or the latest smart phone,” said Tim Evans, CID’s design director.
“There’s absolutely no reason that a device for reading RFID tags on sperm samples shouldn’t be as aesthetically pleasing as an iPhone 6. The Cryogatt family of RFID readers demonstrates this, combining innovative technology with an ergonomic, user-friendly design that makes it straightforward and simple to operate.”
Cambridge Industrial Design has worked in the medical field before. The Histon-based company’s previous projects include work for the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, the RFID-powered SureFlap cat flap and a wearable GPS cow tracking collar for True North Technologies.
“We needed to turn our technology from prototype to full production, while ensuring that it was cost-effective to manufacture and stood out in the market for design excellence,” said Geoff Morris, engineering director, Cryogatt.