London, Sep 12: A 22-year-old student in the UK has invented a mobile fridge that can store vaccines at an ideal temperature while in transit, which could potentially save millions of lives across the world, especially in developing countries.
Current methods of transporting vaccines can result in the vaccines freezing before reaching their destination in countries where poverty and conflict are major obstacles. The device, called Isobar, maintains a steady two to eight degrees for 30 days.
It works by heating ammonia and water to create ammonia vapours, which are then released into its main chamber when cooling is needed. "I wanted to make something for people who have next to nothing. It should be a basic human right, in my opinion, to have a vaccination," said Will Broadway, from Loughborough University in the UK.
"I don't think that the device should be patented to restrict use," Broadway told the 'BBC'. It has been estimated that the invention could save the lives of 1.5 million people across the world, a number Broadway said is "astonishing".
The product has been designed to transport vaccines, but Broadway sees potential for other medical uses such as blood donations and organ transplants.
There is also a potential non-medical use for Isobar which could be monetised in the Western world, Broadway said. "It would be a great thing to take on a five day trip where you have no power," he said.