New Color-Changing Material Shows When Medications Get Too Hot
Some foods and medicines, such as many COVID-19 vaccines, must be kept cold. As a step toward a robust, stable technique that could indicate when these products exceed safe limits, researchers in ACS Nano report a class of brilliantly colored microcrystals in materials that become colorless over a wide range of temperatures and response times. As a proof of concept, the team packaged the color-changing materials into a vial lid and QR code.
Walk-in freezers and refrigerated trucks generally maintain their set temperatures, but accidents can happen. Wireless sensors can monitor the temperature of individual products, but these devices produce a lot of electronic waste. Recently, researchers have suggested using materials that act as visual indicators to provide this information with less waste. Yet some current options using colorful reactions or dyes produce hues that can fade. Or they only track above-freezing temperatures, which isn't useful for some COVID-19 vaccines that can actually start breaking down below freezing -- above -4 or -94 degrees Fahrenheit. So, Yadong Yin, Xuemin Du and colleagues wanted to develop a better color-changing material with tunable melting to track a wide range of temperatures.
The researchers used structural colors, instead of dyes, for their indicator system. The team made glycerol-coated silicon dioxide nanoparticles, which appeared bright green or red when they clustered together into microcrystals in water. Next, they created liquids with variable melting points by mixing different proportions of polyethylene glycol or ethylene glycol and water. When these two parts were put together, they could produce an irreversible color loss when the temperature-triggered solution melted and the microcrystals broke apart. The materials could be customized to track temperature exposures from -94 to +99 degrees Fahrenheit that lasted from a few minutes to multiple days. In other experiments, the two-part indicator systems were packaged into flexible round vial labels and a QR code. These systems were very sensitive and successfully indicated when the materials got too warm. The researchers say that structural color-changing materials hold promise for the diverse scenarios encountered in medical cold supply chains.
The authors acknowledge funding from the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the National Key R&D Program of China, the Youth Innovation Promotion Association of Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Guangdong Regional Joint Fund-Key Project, the Chinese Academy of Sciences Key Laboratory of Health Informatics, the Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology and the Fundamental Research Program of Shenzhen.
Article from Science Daily.
Administering medications to patients is part of the plan of care in nursing practice no matter the care setting utilized. In today’s healthcare environment of ever expanding nursing roles and practice settings. To brush up on your pharmacology and strengthen your med pass knowledge, check out the following courses:
- Antipsychotic Medications in Dementia Care
- Basic Pharmacology 1
- Critical Thinking in Medication Administration
- Diabetes Medications
- ICU Pharmacology: Commonly Used Medications
- IV Push Medications
- IV Antibiotic Education Package
- Medication Administration in Corrections
- Moderate Sedation
- Navigation of the Medication Reconciliation Process
- Prevention and Management of Intravenous Extravasation
- Treatment Options for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Pedagogy's courses are available for purchase by the individual or facility. For individuals, register with us to create your username and password, click on the course title of interest and then click the Purchase button. For a complete listing of all our online continuing education courses, including the largest selection of infusion continuing education courses offered online, click here!
For organizations that would like to purchase education for their entire staff, email email@example.com and let us know the course(s) of interest and how many staff members you need to provide education for, and we will be happy to send you a price quote.