The world’s first ice-crystal biosensor

Manchester, UK: Protein Technologies has the solution to freeze damage. The product, CryoRed, is the world’s first ice-crystal biosensor.

CryoRed is a fluorescent protein which has been engineered to be hyper-sensitive to the formation of large ice-crystals. Normally the protein fluoresces a bright red colour, however, when it is exposed to the slow freezing conditions in which large crystals are formed, it is irreversibly denatured and turns an opaque white.

The ability to differentiate between different types of freezing events in this manner has not been possible before and has left manufacturers and cold chain supply companies with no choice but to err on the side of caution. In 2006, for example, when a shipment of almost 20,000 flu vaccines was mistakenly frozen, Novartis elected to destroy the entire batch of 500,000 doses rather than risk the chances of a single patient suffering an immunogenic response.

CryoRed exhibits a number of further advantages over conventional freeze detection solutions. As a liquid suspension, it lends itself to formulation in blister packs or small stick-on labels; traditional freeze-sensitive labels and eTTI’s are far too bulky to be attached to individual products.

A second major advantage is cost. The colloid-filled membranes on which freeze-sensitive labels are based call for complex fabrication and each eTTI requires a separate electronic circuit board. Because CryoRed is produced by fermentation, it can be manufactured as a bulk liquid at low cost.

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