Why Evaporative Cooling Shippers Are Not Optimal for Pharmaceutical Applications in the 2-8°C Range

Wed, Jan 23, 2019 | By Nathan Dai, Senior Director, Business Development, Cryoport

Evaporative cooling uses evaporation from a pocket of fluid to achieve cooling inside a shipping container, often targeting the 2-8°C range. Although it might be useful for situations with less than stringent requirements—say on shipment of dairy products or food ingredients−it is not a good fit for pharmacetuical or health care applications where strict Chain of Conditions needs to be maintained at all times.

The reasons reside in simple physics.  First of all, micro-evaporation is hardly controlled or calibrated in the packages that on the market today.  The way they are often designed is that, cooling starts when a bag of fluid is punctured to trigger the evaporation process.  However, once started, evaporation happens naturally under little control.  So in a dry but cold climate or zone where the package is travelling in, evaporation will continue to occur and keep reducing the temperature inside the shipping container, potentially lead to freezing if the transit time is not very short.  Many types of biospecimens are not supposed to be frozen for integrity reasons.

Second, micro-evaporation is directionally, therefore cooling is affected by the orientation of the package during transit.  The bag of fluid is supposed to be in the bottom of the package at all times, such that evaporation can effectively happen in the direction opposing gravity.  If the bag is on the four sides or facing upside down in a package due to handling errors, evaporation will not happen as effective as designed.  Cooling speed and holding time may vary according to direction and orientation of the package.  A proper cooling package intended for pharmaceutical or health care should not have such variability and should be properly calibrated for all orientations.

The most optimal way to ship biological material in the 2-8°C temperature range is to transport materials in phase change panel shippers, such as Cryoport's C3 CERTIFIED.COOL. shipper. The C3™ shipper seamlessly integrates our expertise in packaging, informatics and logistics for the most secure transport of your valuable commodities. The C3™ has phase change panels that surround the payload providing greater temperature performance and overall payload protection. Our powerful Cryoportal® logistics management platform and leading-edge Smartpak II condition monitoring system work in conjunction to provide complete visibility of the location and the most critical aspects of the condition of your materials. We provide a complete chain-of-custody and chain-of-condition report with every shipment.

Cryoport’s 24/7/365 customer support also proactively monitors your shipments and provides intervention capabilities if needed. Cryoport’s trusted and world-renowned cold chain logistics solution has now been integrated into the C3 shipper, truly making it the most reliable, secure and groundbreaking 2-8°C solution in the industry.

Written by: Nathan Dai, Sr. Director, Business Development, Cryoport  

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