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Using Earthen Pots as an Innovative
Casing to MaintainAmbient
Temperatures for Insulin and
Vaccines Storage
Amal Dhivahar S., Swapnil Barve, Nishant Veer Vikram Singh, Parthendu Sarkar,
BIDF21026
Department of Biotechnology,
School of Biosciences and
Technology (SBST),
Vellore Institute of Technology
(VIT),
Vellore – 632 014, Tamil Nadu,
India.
Problem
Statement
Number 22: Insulin contained in vials and cartridges (injections) can
be left unrefrigerated at temperatures between 15 C to 30 C for up to
28 days. The major problem faced by healthcare professionals is
portability and storage of insulin. India is a tropical country with
temperatures rising up to 50 C in summer. Refrigeration is not always
possible, especially in rural areas or while travelling. The current
cooler bags used while travelling can only be used for up to 4 days
and require activating every 36 hours. Design a casing or a
chemical/biological additive to maintain the ambient temperature for
insulin storage at room temperature using bio-inspired materials.
Abstract
One of the main problems faced by the Healthcare industry today is the
transportation and storage of life-saving medications. Especially in the
case of insulin and other vaccines that demand optimal temperature
maintenance during storage and while on transit. Since India is a tropical
country with varying temperatures, refrigeration cannot be an optimum
solution at all places and times. Earthen pots called 'Matkas' or 'Man
Paanai' have been used since the ancient days to store drinking water.
Since these pots are made out of clay, the walls possess tiny pores that
provide a greater surface area for evaporation. Whereas, bioinspired
cotton is a revolutionary material that is extremely hydrophobic.
Combining these technologies could be an innovative design to tackle the
current issue. Fabricating a bioinspired cotton pouch (BCP), assisted with
ice packs, that floats inside the earthen pot constitutes a mini-
environment. This setup could sustain itself by maintaining the required
ambient temperature for the medications. This ideology is simple,
practical, and cost-effective. Further enhancement of the design can be
envisioned via coating the pot with nano-engineered polymers that claim
to keep buildings cool in summer.
Keywords: Insulin Storage, Earthen Pots, hydrophobic cotton,
Bioinspired cotton pouch, Evaporation
Introduction
 Many drugs and biological products are sensitive to temperature. E.g.
Insulin, used for treatment of Diabetes [1].
 Insulin should be stored under refrigerated conditions between 2- 8°C
and should be protected from sunlight when vials are not yet opened
[2].
 Opened pens/vials that are currently in use can be kept away from
sunlight at a temperature ranging from 14 - 26°C [3].
 Because at high temperature insulin degrades by hydrolysis [3] and
its potency decreases [4].
 Some of storage methods used are FRIO cooling wallets, clay pots,
thermo cool boxes, etc. [5,6,7].
 In rural areas of India, refrigeration and proper insulin storage is
limited along with the temperature reaching up to 50°C in summer,
making storage a major issue in countries with hot climates.[8,9,10].
 Here we present a modified design consisting of an Earthen pot and a
bio-inspired cotton pouch (BCP) setup to tackle this issue.
Materials and
Methods
 STEP 1: Fabrication of Bio-inspired cotton - In situ CuO deposition
and stearic acid coating in the bio-inspired cotton for super
hydrophobicity [11].
 STEP 2: Construction of bio-inspired cotton pouch - Bio-inspired
cotton folded into half twice to form a four layered piece which will
be sewed with a needle and thread to make a pouch [5].
 STEP 3: Placing the insulin cartridge inside bio-inspired cotton
pouch: Waterproof tape is used to stick labels on the Insulin
cartridges to show the name and expiry date. The cartridges are then
wrapped around by cotton layers [7]. Coolants are placed at the
ends of the pouch and then the wrapped insulin cartridge above
them. Seal the pouch and drop it inside the pot.
Model
Figure 2. Modified Earthen Pot setup to maintain the ambient
temperature.
BCP
Tightly Fit Lid
Earthen Pot
Cold Water
Red Sand
Coolant
Bioinspired
Cotton
Figure 1. Bioinspired Cotton Pouch (BCP) containing insulin
cartridges.
Chitosan
Coating
Mechanism
Figure 4. The composition of shells, illustrating the structure and spatial arrangement of chitin.
Figure 3. Three main components fractioned and upgraded from seafood wastes.
Picture Credits: Yang and Yan, 2018 [12].
Mechanism Figure 5. PubChem CID: 6857375 -
Chitin from shrimp shells [13]
Figure 6. PubChem CID: 71853 – Chitosan [14]
Deacetylation
BCP
Mechanism
 The walls of an Earthen pot are porous. Therefore, the water seeps
and gets evaporated.
 This absorbs the latent heat from the water inside the pot to change
its state into vapour.
 Now the water losing heat energy consequently looses temperature
making it cooler than the surrounding temperature.
 Moreover, the ice pack also brings down the temperature further
and can be refilled whenever possible to sustain the effect.
 The hydrophobic cotton pouch keeps the cartridges from getting
wet using their engineered structure.
Expected
Result &
Conclusion
 Our design will have more cooling efficiency as compared to FRIO
cooling wallet and homemade wallet at room temperature 25°C .
 The proposed design can store insulin and vaccines at a temperature
up to 25°C, as it will degrade by hydrolysis and its potency will
decrease periodically at high temperatures.
 In India, the temperature goes up to 50°C in summer and therefore
this design of a modified Earthen pot-BCP setup is a necessity as it
can be a simple yet practical solution.
 This setup is cost effective because it mostly requires normal
household objects that are used on a daily basis.
 Further additions like nano coating can enhance the cooling effect.
References
1. Chandler C, Gronkiewicz CM, Pringle T, Cunninglam F. Insulin temperature and stability under simulated transit conditions. Am J Health
Syst Pharm 2008;65:953-63.
2. Storage of insulin. Available from: http://www. diabetesguidelines.com/health/dwk/pro/guidelines/ ispad/09_04.asp. [Last accessed on 2011
Feb 13].
3. Gregory R, Edwards S, Yatemais NA. Demonstration of insulin transformation products in insulin vials by high-performance liquid
chromatography. Diabetes Care 1991;14:42-8.
4. Bhatnagar Arpit, Gupta Varun, Tandon Prashant, et al. Last mile delivery of cold chain medicines— challenges and recommendations. Indian
J Pharm Biol Res. 2018;6(1):34–41.
5. Gill GV, Price C, English P, Eriksson-Lee J. Traditional clay pots as storage containers for insulin in hot climates. Tropical Doctor 2002; 32:
237–238.
6. Gill GV. Stability of insulin in tropical countries. Trop. Med. Int. Health 2000; 5: 666.
7. Vimalavathini R, Gitanjali B. Effect of temperature on the potency and pharmacological action of insulin. Indian J Med Res 2009;130:166-9.
8. Molly M. Gilligan,Jacqueline C. Linnes, Julia E. von Oettingen, Ketly Altenor. From Toy to Tool: Using Water Beads for Insulin Storage in
Haiti. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pedi.13167.
9. Arya SC. Insulin storage in clay pot. Ann Saudi Med 2000;20:491-2.
10. Al Shaibi K, Falata W, Sayes N, Al Shareef M, Al Taweel M, Abozenadah A et al. Storing insulin in a clay pot in the desert causes no loss of
activity: a preliminary report. Ann Saudi Med 1999; 19: 547–549.
11. Ruiyang Lu, Yucong Yu, Gafurov Adkhamjon, Wenli Gong, Xiaoqing Sun, Lin Liu.( 2020 )Bio-inspired cotton fabric with
superhydrophobicity for high-efficiency self-cleaning and oil/water separation.Cellulose. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10570-020-03281-9.
12. Yang, H., & Yan, N. (2018). Transformation of seafood wastes into chemicals and materials. Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and
Technology, ed RA Meyers (New York, NY: Springer), 1-23.
13. National Center for Biotechnology Information (2021). PubChem Compound Summary for CID 6857375, Chitin from shrimp shells.
Retrieved April 11, 2021 from https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Chitin-from-shrimp-shells.
14. National Center for Biotechnology Information (2021). PubChem Compound Summary for CID 71853, Chitosan. Retrieved April 11, 2021
from https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Chitosan.
Thank You

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Using Earthen Pots as an Innovative Casing to Maintain Ambient Temperatures for Insulin and Vaccines Storage

  • 1. Using Earthen Pots as an Innovative Casing to MaintainAmbient Temperatures for Insulin and Vaccines Storage Amal Dhivahar S., Swapnil Barve, Nishant Veer Vikram Singh, Parthendu Sarkar, BIDF21026 Department of Biotechnology, School of Biosciences and Technology (SBST), Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT), Vellore – 632 014, Tamil Nadu, India.
  • 2. Problem Statement Number 22: Insulin contained in vials and cartridges (injections) can be left unrefrigerated at temperatures between 15 C to 30 C for up to 28 days. The major problem faced by healthcare professionals is portability and storage of insulin. India is a tropical country with temperatures rising up to 50 C in summer. Refrigeration is not always possible, especially in rural areas or while travelling. The current cooler bags used while travelling can only be used for up to 4 days and require activating every 36 hours. Design a casing or a chemical/biological additive to maintain the ambient temperature for insulin storage at room temperature using bio-inspired materials.
  • 3. Abstract One of the main problems faced by the Healthcare industry today is the transportation and storage of life-saving medications. Especially in the case of insulin and other vaccines that demand optimal temperature maintenance during storage and while on transit. Since India is a tropical country with varying temperatures, refrigeration cannot be an optimum solution at all places and times. Earthen pots called 'Matkas' or 'Man Paanai' have been used since the ancient days to store drinking water. Since these pots are made out of clay, the walls possess tiny pores that provide a greater surface area for evaporation. Whereas, bioinspired cotton is a revolutionary material that is extremely hydrophobic. Combining these technologies could be an innovative design to tackle the current issue. Fabricating a bioinspired cotton pouch (BCP), assisted with ice packs, that floats inside the earthen pot constitutes a mini- environment. This setup could sustain itself by maintaining the required ambient temperature for the medications. This ideology is simple, practical, and cost-effective. Further enhancement of the design can be envisioned via coating the pot with nano-engineered polymers that claim to keep buildings cool in summer. Keywords: Insulin Storage, Earthen Pots, hydrophobic cotton, Bioinspired cotton pouch, Evaporation
  • 4. Introduction  Many drugs and biological products are sensitive to temperature. E.g. Insulin, used for treatment of Diabetes [1].  Insulin should be stored under refrigerated conditions between 2- 8°C and should be protected from sunlight when vials are not yet opened [2].  Opened pens/vials that are currently in use can be kept away from sunlight at a temperature ranging from 14 - 26°C [3].  Because at high temperature insulin degrades by hydrolysis [3] and its potency decreases [4].  Some of storage methods used are FRIO cooling wallets, clay pots, thermo cool boxes, etc. [5,6,7].  In rural areas of India, refrigeration and proper insulin storage is limited along with the temperature reaching up to 50°C in summer, making storage a major issue in countries with hot climates.[8,9,10].  Here we present a modified design consisting of an Earthen pot and a bio-inspired cotton pouch (BCP) setup to tackle this issue.
  • 5. Materials and Methods  STEP 1: Fabrication of Bio-inspired cotton - In situ CuO deposition and stearic acid coating in the bio-inspired cotton for super hydrophobicity [11].  STEP 2: Construction of bio-inspired cotton pouch - Bio-inspired cotton folded into half twice to form a four layered piece which will be sewed with a needle and thread to make a pouch [5].  STEP 3: Placing the insulin cartridge inside bio-inspired cotton pouch: Waterproof tape is used to stick labels on the Insulin cartridges to show the name and expiry date. The cartridges are then wrapped around by cotton layers [7]. Coolants are placed at the ends of the pouch and then the wrapped insulin cartridge above them. Seal the pouch and drop it inside the pot.
  • 6. Model Figure 2. Modified Earthen Pot setup to maintain the ambient temperature. BCP Tightly Fit Lid Earthen Pot Cold Water Red Sand Coolant Bioinspired Cotton Figure 1. Bioinspired Cotton Pouch (BCP) containing insulin cartridges. Chitosan Coating
  • 7. Mechanism Figure 4. The composition of shells, illustrating the structure and spatial arrangement of chitin. Figure 3. Three main components fractioned and upgraded from seafood wastes. Picture Credits: Yang and Yan, 2018 [12].
  • 8. Mechanism Figure 5. PubChem CID: 6857375 - Chitin from shrimp shells [13] Figure 6. PubChem CID: 71853 – Chitosan [14] Deacetylation BCP
  • 9. Mechanism  The walls of an Earthen pot are porous. Therefore, the water seeps and gets evaporated.  This absorbs the latent heat from the water inside the pot to change its state into vapour.  Now the water losing heat energy consequently looses temperature making it cooler than the surrounding temperature.  Moreover, the ice pack also brings down the temperature further and can be refilled whenever possible to sustain the effect.  The hydrophobic cotton pouch keeps the cartridges from getting wet using their engineered structure.
  • 10. Expected Result & Conclusion  Our design will have more cooling efficiency as compared to FRIO cooling wallet and homemade wallet at room temperature 25°C .  The proposed design can store insulin and vaccines at a temperature up to 25°C, as it will degrade by hydrolysis and its potency will decrease periodically at high temperatures.  In India, the temperature goes up to 50°C in summer and therefore this design of a modified Earthen pot-BCP setup is a necessity as it can be a simple yet practical solution.  This setup is cost effective because it mostly requires normal household objects that are used on a daily basis.  Further additions like nano coating can enhance the cooling effect.
  • 11. References 1. Chandler C, Gronkiewicz CM, Pringle T, Cunninglam F. Insulin temperature and stability under simulated transit conditions. Am J Health Syst Pharm 2008;65:953-63. 2. Storage of insulin. Available from: http://www. diabetesguidelines.com/health/dwk/pro/guidelines/ ispad/09_04.asp. [Last accessed on 2011 Feb 13]. 3. Gregory R, Edwards S, Yatemais NA. Demonstration of insulin transformation products in insulin vials by high-performance liquid chromatography. Diabetes Care 1991;14:42-8. 4. Bhatnagar Arpit, Gupta Varun, Tandon Prashant, et al. Last mile delivery of cold chain medicines— challenges and recommendations. Indian J Pharm Biol Res. 2018;6(1):34–41. 5. Gill GV, Price C, English P, Eriksson-Lee J. Traditional clay pots as storage containers for insulin in hot climates. Tropical Doctor 2002; 32: 237–238. 6. Gill GV. Stability of insulin in tropical countries. Trop. Med. Int. Health 2000; 5: 666. 7. Vimalavathini R, Gitanjali B. Effect of temperature on the potency and pharmacological action of insulin. Indian J Med Res 2009;130:166-9. 8. Molly M. Gilligan,Jacqueline C. Linnes, Julia E. von Oettingen, Ketly Altenor. From Toy to Tool: Using Water Beads for Insulin Storage in Haiti. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pedi.13167. 9. Arya SC. Insulin storage in clay pot. Ann Saudi Med 2000;20:491-2. 10. Al Shaibi K, Falata W, Sayes N, Al Shareef M, Al Taweel M, Abozenadah A et al. Storing insulin in a clay pot in the desert causes no loss of activity: a preliminary report. Ann Saudi Med 1999; 19: 547–549. 11. Ruiyang Lu, Yucong Yu, Gafurov Adkhamjon, Wenli Gong, Xiaoqing Sun, Lin Liu.( 2020 )Bio-inspired cotton fabric with superhydrophobicity for high-efficiency self-cleaning and oil/water separation.Cellulose. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10570-020-03281-9. 12. Yang, H., & Yan, N. (2018). Transformation of seafood wastes into chemicals and materials. Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology, ed RA Meyers (New York, NY: Springer), 1-23. 13. National Center for Biotechnology Information (2021). PubChem Compound Summary for CID 6857375, Chitin from shrimp shells. Retrieved April 11, 2021 from https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Chitin-from-shrimp-shells. 14. National Center for Biotechnology Information (2021). PubChem Compound Summary for CID 71853, Chitosan. Retrieved April 11, 2021 from https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Chitosan.