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Assignment: BiopsyCryoShelter

Chair: Energy, Materials and Systems

An innovative thermal insulation solution enables cold biopsy logistics between hospitals and clinics


One of the recent advances in cancer diagnosis is the development of molecular diagnosis where the cancer patients can have a better choice of a particular therapy. To enable proper molecular diagnosis it is important to carefully and safely transport the frozen patient biopsy from a clinic to a specialized laboratory. Due to the pressure of cost reduction and recent policies in centralization of specialized laboratories in the Netherlands and in the rest of world there is a greater need to develop a specialized cold transport system for the biopsies.

Today most of this transport takes place with dry ice (solid CO2) that maintains a temperature of -78°C. However, the problem with dry ice is that it sublimates to CO2 gas and provision has to be made to vent the gas from the system. Moreover dry ice is relatively expensive, cannot be recycled and special infrastructure is required to store dry ice in the clinic. Hence there is a great need to develop an alternative cold storage logistic system.

We have developed an alternative solution to dry ice, which is being commercially evaluated by a company to develop the solution as a product. In this assignment, the student will develop an analytical transmission line model of the thermal insulation that will allow parameterization of various components. A dynamic numerical model is already available and the student where possible can compare his results with this model. Lab scale experiments are also foreseen in this task. This would involve measurement of heat capacity, thermal resistance and assembly of the first prototype. Depending on the progress made a visit to the company and possible experiments in their laboratory is foreseen.





Tutor: Dr. ir. S. Vanapalli


CR 2.049