Cryopreservation, the same technology that is rumored to have preserved the late Walt Disney, is being used to save lives in impoverished nations.
Roughly 50% of the vaccines intended for distribution in impoverished communities and other areas are discarded because of exposure to high temperatures. Getting medicine to communities such as these is difficult enough without the high cost of replacing compromised vaccinations. This is where Asymptote comes in.
Based in Cambridge, UK, Asymptote specializes in cryopreservation; that is to say, they specialize in keeping substances very cold to preserve them. Asymptote has recently been awarded a grant to begin developing extremely low-temperature storage equipment able to transfer live vaccines. The equipment is not only intended to aid in transferring vaccinations but also to increase the shelf life of vaccinations which require a temperature of minus 130 degrees Celsius for weeks at a time.
If successful, this would have a large impact on the distribution of vaccines in countries where electricity is unstable and access to liquid nitrogen is scarce. Needless to say, this applies to many developing countries that tend to have a large rural population such as those located in Africa and Southeast Asia.
In many countries where basic needs are not met, the community is forced to focus on these pressing issues just to stay alive. Providing impoverished counties with basic amenities such as vaccinations allows the people of the community to focus on economic and cultural stability. The effect of this type of stability is a reduction in poverty and the strengthening of the global economy.
– Pete Grapentien