Timestrip Indicators Track Vaccine Cold Chain Specifications

Timestrip®, the developer of smart indicator technology, has released two new ranges designed to be used with the latest coronavirus vaccines now becoming available. The indicators track temperature and time, and will ensure that vaccines are fresh when administered to patients.

ultra low pharmaceutical storage

The Timestrip Vaccine Thaw Timer is an event thaw indicator with 24 hour time indication calibrated to run at fridge temperatures. It can be packed with vaccines that require storage at -70°C in the ultra-cold chain, and automatically starts monitoring as the vaccine is thawed and transferred to chilled conditions at the hospital or surgery. It then tracks the time from thaw at 6 hours, 12 hours and up to 24 hours, meeting the specifications for use from manufacturers such as Pfizer.    

The Timestrip Vaccine Refrigeration Monitor range comprises three indicators. One is designed to indicate the thawing event of the vaccine; another will time 30 days duration in refrigerator conditions (2°C-8°C), helping the user to manage the vaccine manufacturer’s guidelines for use.

Then, when the vaccine has been taken from the refrigerator and prepared for use, a third indicator monitors how long it has been exposed to temperatures above 8°C, typically at room temperature. The time ‘run out’ for the Vaccine Refrigeration Monitor VOR12 (Vaccine Out of Refrigerator) is up to 12 hours, with shorter times to an alert being seen at higher temperatures. 

These Vaccine Refrigeration Monitor products will help overcome challenges in the handling of COVID-19 vaccines up to the point of administering, and are designed to support the manufacturers’ specification for the handling of vaccines such as those from Moderna.

Both indicators provide a clear irreversible indication to healthcare staff that conditions of storage and handling have exceeded acceptable conditions, and that the vaccine consignment cannot be relied upon. 

Based on safe chemical technology, both the Vaccine Thaw Timer and Vaccine Refrigeration Monitor range overcome the limitations of batteries used at ultra-low temperatures.

We continue to innovate our patented technology to bring the benefits to important applications such as vaccine distribution, supply and last mile handling. Using these indicators, healthcare professionals worldwide can be supported cost effectively, and guided through soon to be routine practices of handling and managing these vital resources.

Nora Murphy, Commercial Director of Timestrip.

Timestrip has recently added other products to its range in response to coronavirus. These include an indicator to monitor antiviral solutions, and Rapid Diagnostics 15, a 15 minute timer indicator for use with rapid turnaround lateral flow test kits.

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Novel Indicators Provide Essential Monitoring of Virus Specimens

Timestrip®, the developer of smart indicator technology, has developed an important new range of indicators to help healthcare professionals meet WHO guidelines in the handling of virus specimens.

virus storage temperature range

The Timestrip Virus Specimen Transport (VST) series has been specially formulated to provide a clear indication when key temperature levels are exceeded.

These indicators monitor when specimens – including coronavirus – have been stored for too long and outside the required temperature range for reliable testing.

Four products make up the VST range.

Together they form an essential tool to support hospitals, surgeries and medical laboratories in storing and transporting virus specimens correctly, and preserving their integrity.

A virus specimen’s exposure to temperature over time is critical to its lifetime, so the VST series includes a unique integrating indicator, the Timestrip VST TTI, which mirrors the accumulated time-temperature history of the virus specimen during transport and storage.

Virology specimen collection guidelines state that most viruses remain stable at 4°C for 2-3 days, so VST TTI is effective with a wide range of virus types.

Designed to meet specific regulations, the TTI label will indicate when 72 hours of chilled storage has elapsed by showing a clear visual discard window. At high temperatures, the label will show the discard indication within just a few hours.

Scientists and clinicians know that bacteria and viruses deteriorate much more quickly as temperatures increase, and also as exposure time increases. For example, at 50-55°C, coronavirus becomes non-infectious within just a few hours.

The VST range of indicators includes a product specifically for monitoring temperatures exceeding 53°C.

frozen virus shipments

FDA and WHO regulations state that it is important to avoid freezing and thawing of specimens.

The Timestrip VST 0°C will reliably track a thawing event. If the ambient temperature rises above freezing, the indicator will show the cumulative period of thawing.

Timestrip VST Fridge Combi includes two indicators. One unique element indicates when a period of 72 hours has passed during chilled conditions (2-8°C), aligning with FDA / WHO regulations.

The other element provides a temperature breach indication, giving a clear signal when conditions have exceeded the regulated upper chilled limit of 8°C/46°F during storage or transport.

“As part of the fight against coronavirus, our new VST virus specimen transport range will help support scientists by monitoring specimens from collection right through to point of test, giving confidence in the integrity of the specimen, and thus the test results.

These simple yet effective products provide a solution to a real problem in the storage and handling of virus specimens, including Covid-19. Medics and laboratory technicians can now have an explicit signal when specimens have breached the safe zone of thermal exposure and are invalid for testing.”

Nora Murphy, Commercial Director of Timestrip UK Ltd

The VST is expected to be the first of many speciality ranges to be offered by Timestrip that provide practical solutions for pathology, microbiology, mycobacteria and other laboratory specimen handling, where temperature and time monitoring are required.

The new Virus Specimen Transport products are available now from Timestrip.


for release 11th June 2020

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White Paper: COVID-19 Vaccine & Antivirals – Delivering Solutions Safely

Timestrip has a new white paper detailing the importance of monitoring time and temperature parameters during storing and transporting to point of care

For more information on how Timestrip UK Ltd is handling the COVID-19 pandemic, please see this post.

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Timestrip Blood Temp 10: less waste, lower cost, less risk

An FDA-approved Irreversible Time and Temperature Indicator that ensures that only viable whole blood supplies are used post-transit

The high tech, low cost alternative to electronic dataloggers

  • Delivery of unambiguous safety data
  • FDA approved
  • Ease of use
  • Lower costs
  • Less wastage
  • Low carbon footprint

A critical issue for medical professionals is ensuring the viability of blood supplies once they leave the highly controlled storage environment, such as a blood bank refrigerator or a hospital blood storage facility. This aspect of the so-called blood cold chain is essential for ensuring that these are kept at the correct temperature right up to the time they are administered by trauma units, ERs, operating theatre staff, air/ ground ambulances, and any other situation requiring blood to be transported from storage units out to patients.

blood bags

During transit, whole blood needs to be kept within a temperature range of 2°C/36OF to 10°C/50°F. Below this range, there is a risk of freezing with the formation of ice crystals, rendering the blood unusable, while upper temperature breaches create the possibility of blood being affected by an overgrowth of non-specific bacteria, which may have entered the blood unit during collection or component preparation.

Both these situations have serious consequences: the cost implications of a wasted product and/or more seriously, a patient that is put at risk.

To address these issues, Timestrip® has developed its single-use Blood Temp 10 – a high-tech, low cost Irreversible Time & Temperature Indicator that effectively monitors temperature breaches above 10°C/50°F during transit.

No more guesswork

Thanks to its innovative technology, Timestrip® Blood Temp 10 removes this uncertainty by providing clear, unambiguous data as to whether a supply of whole blood is safe to use or be returned to storage.

blood temperature products

This is achieved thanks to the smart label’s two indicator windows:

• the first window to indicate if the label has been activated

• the second to indicate if a temperature breach has occurred

Thus, at a glance, medical staff know if a supply of whole blood is not only safe to use post-transit. The smart label also ensures a higher level of quality of the product is delivered by monitoring of temperature throughout transit.

Moreover, thanks to its irreversible feature, once the smart label has reacted to a temperature breach, this cannot be undone. For security reasons, the colour of the label’s indicator window stays permanently changed.

FDA approved … and more

Timestrip® Blood Temp 10 has FDA certification (FDA 510(k) #BK190363) and is manufactured with controls established by a IQC approved quality management system that conforms with ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 13485:2016.

With a temperature accuracy of +/- 0.5°C, this means that the Timestrip® label is designed with reliable and, more importantly, trustworthy technology as assessed by some of the world’s most stringent criteria. Moreover, extra security is assured by every Timestrip® label having its own unique serial number, thus ensuring full traceability.

Checking this list of features brings further benefits to healthcare providers involved in the transportation of whole blood by also ticking the box for local and internal regulatory compliance.

Cost savings

Because Timestrip® Blood Temp 10 ensures that only viable blood supplies are either administered post-transit, or returned to storage, the possibility of precautionary disposal is eliminated. This reduction in waste can have significant cost benefits.

In fact, studies have shown that loss rates without a Timestrip® are around 5%. These are halved with its use. In fact, reducing a loss rate by 9.9% pays for the total investment and a conservative 19.8% reduction doubles the ROI.

The generation of similar positive temperature monitoring outcomes are possible using other products, such as electronic devices. These, however, are far costlier.

Ease of use

Apart from delivering clear, unambiguous data as to whether post-transit a unit of whole blood may be used or returned to storage thanks its innovative indicator windows, the Timestrip® Blood Temp 10 is also remarkably easy to use.

In fact, unlike other whole blood temperature monitoring solutions on the market, Timestrip® Blood Temp 10 is a unique FDA 510(k) medical device that does not require preconditioning. Moreover, it is also CE approved and designed for:

• quick and easy application

• no prior conditioning by blood storage staff

• temperature breach data delivered at a glance by medical field personnel.

Prior to the transit of a unit of whole blood, a simple squeeze of the label’s activation blister is all that is required for temperature monitoring of a unit of whole blood to begin. Then the label just needs to stuck on the unit.

Squeeze, peel and stick – that’s it!

And the end of transit, Timestrip® technology has also been designed for maximum ease of use:

• until activation, the first indicator window is yellow and the second is white

• upon activation, the first indicator window turns green

• if a temperature breach has occurred during transit, the duration of the breach is indicated by the second white indicator window that proportionately fills up with blue dye

Product Specifications

10°C/50°F monitoring
Irreversible, single use
19mm x 32mm
Field activation
Visual proof of temperature exposure

Advantages over electronic dataloggers

Beyond being less expensive, Timestrip® Blood Temp 10 does not involve a datalogger’s complicated and sometimes cumbersome unit return program that is necessary to make it more affordable. The smart label’s single use indicator makes it the ideal fit for simple, straightforward and effective temperature monitoring.

The Timestrip® also is a super convenient shape: small, flat, with no batteries or any other electronic components to them.

For green credentials, the Timestrip® also outstrips traditional dataloggers in terms of carbon footprint, because the latter eventually needs to be either be thrown away or sent back to source to justify the expenditure.

Lastly, the Timestrip® has the potential of generating more accurate safety data. Indeed, because a container of units of whole blood will tend to use just a single datalogger, inevitably the temperature of ambient air within the container is taken into account, potentially generating less than accurate safety data.

With Timestrip® labels however, every single unit has its own temperature indicator. This means that the possibility of rejecting an entire shipment based on a single result is eliminated.

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Timestrip Attending ISBT Basel, Switzerland 2019

Timestrip Attending ISBT Basel, Switzerland 2019

Timestrip will be attending the 29th Regional Congress of the International Society of Blood Transfusion (ISBT) in Basel, Switzerland from 22nd – 26th June 2019

We will demonstrate our Timestrip® Blood Temp 10 and Timestrip® Blood Temp 6 at the exhibition. We will be at Booth U106, Hall 4.U, please drop by and get a sample of our Blood Temp indicators to take away with you.

Our Blood Temp irreversible blood bag temperature indicators monitor temperature compliance in blood bags. They are especially relevant for monitoring blood temperature during transit from the highly controlled environment of the blood bank to use or store in a different destination, such as a hospital.

ISBT is a society in the field of blood transfusion, transplants, science and medicine. It facilitates knowledge about transfusion medicine to serve the interests of donors and patients.

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