Temperature-Control Packaging Wraps Up Award

By Daphne Allen
NanoCool's self-contained cooler, which requires no preconditioning, won a Medical Design Excellence Award.

NanoCool technology from NanoCool LLC (Albuquerque, NM) has taken packaging honors in the Medical Design Excellence Awards. Designed as an alternative to phase-change gel packs, the system relies on the evaporation of water in a vacuum to cool package contents, explains Steve Pohlmann, general manager for NanoPore. “We use a semiactive cooler for cooling on demand,” he says. “No preconditioning is needed, and the system is shipped ready to activate.” The technology was developed jointly by NanoPore Inc. (Albuquerque) and MeadWestvaco (Charleston, SC), with the two companies starting work in 2002. NanoCool was launched in early 2005.

The system’s cooler is self contained in the payload area’s lid. The cooler is activated on demand with the user’s push of a button. The payload is cooled by the evaporation of water at low pressure within the cooler. The cooling rate can be controlled to maintain temperatures at 2°–8° C for 48 to 72 hours.

According to Pohlmann, NanoCool can reduce shipping package size considerably by using VIPs as insulating walls. “The packages are small, and shipping costs are reduced,” he says. For instance, Pohlmann reports, an 8-liter NanoCool package weighing 3 lb compares in cooling capability to a 42-liter expanded-polystyrene (EPS) package using traditional gel packs weighing 8 lb. Shipping the NanoCool package for next-day UPS delivery from Albuquerque to Charleston costs $28.50; shipping the EPS package runs $57.75.

In May 2005, thirteen NanoCool packages were shipped via two-day delivery using Federal Express, also from Albuquerque to Charleston. The trip took 51 hours. With ambient temperatures ranging from 13° to 41°C, the products’ internal temperatures ranged from 2.1° to 6.8°C.

Two standard NanoCool packages are currently available: The NCV-852, which measures 12.25 × 7.9 × 4.57 in. OD and 8.5 × 4.8 × 2.1 ID with an actual weight of 3 lb and a dimensional weight of 3 lb, and the NCV-854, which measures 12.25 × 7.9 × 7.13 OD and 8.5 × 4.8 × 4.25 ID with an actual weight of 4 lb and a dimensional weight of 5 lb. Custom-sized packages can also be designed.

Organized by PMP News’ publisher, Canon Communications llc, the MDEA awards recognize several products in more than a dozen categories for excellence in medical product design. The program is sponsored by ATS Automation Tooling Systems (Cambridge, ON, Canada), Avail Medical Products Inc. (Fort Worth, TX), DuPont Medical Packaging (Wilmington, DE), Dymax Corp. (Torrington, CT), The Electrolizing Corp. of Ohio (Cleveland), Ethox International (Buffalo, NY), The MedTech Group Inc. (South Plainfield, NJ), Norman Noble Inc. (Cleveland), and NuSil Technology LLC (Carpinteria, CA). The standard deadline for the 2007 MDEA competition is December 18, 2006, for products that are commercially available by December 31, 2006. For more information, visit www.mdeawards.com.


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