The James Dyson Award has announced national winners for this year’s contest, many of which are medically-oriented projects designed to help address current shortcomings. One particularly interesting one is the ISOBAR designed by William Broadway of Loughborough University, a winner of the UK national contest.
The ISOBAR is a system for safe transport of vaccines, particularly into areas where the surrounding infrastructure can really limit how well temperature controlled medication is delivered. It consists of a backpack and the actual refrigeration unit that’s carried within it. The refrigerator can work off of electricity, but when that’s not available it relies on a mix of water and ammonia for power.
The water/ammonia mixture is heated by propane within an internal chamber, eventually separating and flowing into separate compartments. When the water and ammonia are then endothermically recombined, the reaction cools the vessel and keeps the vaccine at the correct temperature as it’s delivered to a remote location.
The ISOBAR has been carefully designed to make it easy to operate by just about anyone in practically any environment. Since the real problem with vaccine delivery are the last few miles, which can be rugged and lacking any real infrastructure, the device may help prevent untold number of infections around the world.
Here’s a Loughborough University video presenting the ISOBAR:
Project page: ISOBAR…
Source: Loughborough University…