• Vol 10, No 8 (2019)
  • Mechanical Engineering

Fabrication and Characterization of an Affordable Conditioned Bio-specimen Transporter (Conbiport) for Urban Areas

Muhammad Hanif Nadhif, Andika Praditya Hadiputra, Muhammad Satrio Utomo, Yudan Whulanza

Corresponding email: hanifnadhif@ui.ac.id


Cite this article as:
Nadhif, M.H., Hadiputra, A.P., Utomo, M.S., Whulanza, Y., 2019. Fabrication and Characterization of an Affordable Conditioned Bio-specimen Transporter (Conbiport) for Urban Areas . International Journal of Technology. Volume 10(8), pp. 1626-1634
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Muhammad Hanif Nadhif 1. Department of Medical Physics, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus UI Salemba, Jakarta 10430, Indonesia 2. Medical Technology Cluster, Institute of Medical Education and Research In
Andika Praditya Hadiputra Research Center for Biomedical Engineering (RCBE), Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia
Muhammad Satrio Utomo Research Center for Metallurgy and Material, Indonesia Institute of Science (LIPI), Kawasan PUSPIPTEK Gedung 470, Kota Tangerang Selatan, Banten 15314, Indonesia
Yudan Whulanza 1. Research Center for Biomedical Engineering (RCBE), Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia 2. Mechanical Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineeri
Email to Corresponding Author

Abstract
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Many biological and biomedical laboratories in the Greater Jakarta have limited facilities. Problems arise when bio-specimen transports are moved from one laboratory to another. These transports may take hours due to traffic in the Greater Jakarta area. Lengthy transport may be problematic to the research at-hand, since many biological specimens will fail to survive if temperatures exceed 37°C for even a few minutes. When this happens, the condition of the specimen may be compromised or even damaged. To address this problem, we fabricated and tested a conditioned bio-specimen transporter (Conbiport). The Conbiport used a Rubbermaid cooler box as a basis, which is made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), allowing for temperature preservation. The Conbiport was equipped with an Arduino microcontroller, a heater, a temperature sensor, and its peripheral components so that the temperature inside the Conbiport could be steadily maintained. Four different control system configurations were tested: proportional (P-dom), proportional-derivative (PD-dom), proportional-integral-derivative (PID) and on-off. The results showed that the P-dom configuration exhibited the fastest heat rate. This configuration may provide better portability when it comes to specimen testing, despite the tendency of the temperature to offset from the setpoint. On the other hand, the PID controller provided the most stable temperature preservation, although it took a longer time to achieve the setpoint. Nonetheless, we proved that the Conbiport could maintain the temperature required for specimen transportation in urban areas, such as Greater Jakarta.

Bio-specimen; Conbiport; Control; PID; Transporter

Introduction

Indonesia lacks important medical facilities (Elfani & Putra, 2013), which includes facilities in  (bio)medical laboratories such as testing instruments. As a result, some specimen testing processes must be performed in laboratories that are more fully equipped.  

However, such laboratories do not exist in every region of Greater Jakarta. These types of laboratories are mainly located along main roads. This means that some specimens may be transported over up to 10 kilometers. In this case, depending on the traffic, specimen transports can take hours to arrive at their destination. In Greater Jakarta, traffic jams have been a daily occurrence for the citizens (Lee, 2015). At times, it may take up to an hour to move just 1 kilometer. Due to these traffic jams, some people called Jakarta an urban nightmare (Steinberg, 2007).

Traffic jams pose a problem to the bio-specimen transport, which requires a specific environment to grow and live. For instance, some biological specimens required a temperature of approximately 37°C to maintain their viability and growth in a bioreactor (Whulanza et al., 2014; Whulanza et al., 2017) or an organ model (Sagita et al., 2018). A failure to maintain the required temperature might damage the bio-specimens (Chen et al., 2015). Studies from Whulanza et al. (2016) and Nadhif et al. (2017) shows, in the first study, Candida albicans—biofilm-forming fungi in the oral cavity)—was cultured on a modified polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) membrane. In the latter study, Candida albicans was cultured in the lab-on-chip channels. To qualitatively confirm the existence of the fungal colonies in the two studies, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was required. Unfortunately, the SEM imaging could only be performed at another lab since the tool was not available since the tool was not available at the initial lab. Therefore, the specimens were transported to the SEM facility, which took 1 to 1.5 hours. Unfortunately, the air temperature outside was significantly different from the desired temperature for cells to survive (Gow et al., 2012), which led to the destruction of the specimen (Siswanto et al., 2016).

To tackle the aforementioned problem, an assistive device is required to maintain the specimen at an ideal temperature. One of the most feasible approaches is using a portable incubator (Byrd et al., 1997; Suzuki et al., 1999; Varisanga et al., 2002). Unfortunately, all commercial portable incubators for microbiology and tissue engineering research in Indonesia are imported, leading them to be relatively expensive (reaching approximately US$ 1,300). The purchasing of this type of incubators may consume around 18-60% of the grant received by the researchers. This problem inspired us to design an affordable conditioned bio-specimen transporter (Conbiport), which uses simpler technology and lower-cost materials. Therefore, bio-specimen transport in urban areas, like Greater Jakarta, can be safeguarded.


Conclusion

We successfully fabricated and tested an affordable conditioned bio-specimen transporter (Conbiport). All the components of the Conbiport worked as intended. The Conbiport was able to perform thermal preservation for 120 minutes with the installed battery. Four distinct control system configurations were tested, in terms of heat rise and oscillation behavior. The P-dom presented the fastest heat rate. This configuration is very suitable for a user who requires the fast mobility of specimens for testing. Nonetheless, this configuration is prone to an offset. On the other hand, the PID controller was the most stable of all the configurations, making it the most preferable configuration. To cope with the slow heat rise, the Conbiport must be prepared for 50 minutes prior to specimen transports. According to the results described in this paper, the Conbiport can be a reliable medium to transport bio-specimens in urban areas.

Acknowledgement

This article’s publication is supported by LPDP Rispro Invitasi 2019 under contract number KEP-52/LPDP/2019.

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