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Life Science

Definition of Life Science: "A branch of science (such as biology, medicine, and sometimes anthropology or sociology) that deals with living organisms and life processes". 

Our purpose is to make sense of what you measure by providing the best measurement solutions, service and intelligence. In this area, you most probably do not want to gamble on whether the sensors are accurate or not. We make sensors for life. 

Life Science is a market where the demand for a controlled environment is growing. There is a demand for a controlled environment in chicken hatcheries and greenhouses as well as for fruit and vegetables in transportation. In the medical world, you can find CO2 meters in anaesthetic equipment, but we also see a demand for in-patient related safety equipment.

Another area is health and fitness, where you can use CO2 as an indicator of metabolism and/or to optimise your exercise cycle.

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Tony Nowak

Tony Nowak

Executive Sales Director

+ 1 (630) 222 58 35

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Learn More About Life Science

Agricultural applications

Photosynthesis is a chemical process that uses light energy to convert CO2 and water to sugars in plants. Sugar is the building material for fruits and vegetables. A greenhouse without ventilation can drop the levels of CO2 to less than 340 ppm, which is contra-productive for plant growth. If the level of CO2 is raised, it will help the production rise.

To control the greenhouse environment, you need to monitor the CO2 level and control ventilation or generate CO2. Our sensors are used in a link where data is used in an automation system. When CO2 is generated, the safety of humans becomes an issue and at some levels, vegetables or crop can be damaged.  

Sensor challenges

The greenhouse environment is a good benchmark for sensor quality since humidity and heat can reach extreme levels. Even though we offer coating of the electronics, there are clients that find our sensors reliable without it.

The ABC-algorithm

Since a greenhouse will not provide a “normal” level (400 ppm) for calibration we recommend manual calibration once a year.

Hatchery Control

You will find our sensors in diverse missions: everything from controlling egg hatching to monitoring CO2 in slaughterhouses.

During incubation, the chicken embryo, as any living organism, needs oxygen and produces carbon dioxide, metabolic water and metabolic heat. There are scientific studies that show different results in increased and decreased hatchability due to CO2 concentrations. Successful hatch management uses CO2 sensors to control the incubation and the hatching time. 

Sensor challenge

Hatcheries are the worst environment for electronics in general, and sensors in particular. The reasons are humidity, temperature, and the particles generated by the chickens when they hatch (we call it the "fluff factor"). In addition, hatcheries are thoroughly cleaned with high-pressure spray between incubations.

Our sensor S9 is specially made to suit extremely demanding environments. The membrane that protects the sensor can be compared to GoreTex®, to let air in but keep water out. There is a special cover to be used when cleaning, and the sensor is installed with a bayonet for easy replacement. Other membranes could be applied corresponding to other media, like oil, dust, etc.

Medical

There are several gases to be detected for safety reasons, but CO2 reveals a lot. The anesthesiologist monitors the respiration (CO2) of the patient, and that information reveals the exact stage of anaesthesia.

In a care situation, the same monitoring (capnography) is done to the patient’s exhalation to learn how a treatment is working, or if there are other factors that do not respond well to change in the CO2 level.

There are several applications related to sensors within the Life science segment (e.g. incubators, carbon patients, alarms) in situations where CO2 is used:

  • Respiration and help to overcome breath-holding and bronchial spasms
  • To facilitate blind intubation in anaesthetic practice
  • To facilitate vasodilation and thus lessen the degree of metabolic acidosis during the induction of hypothermia
  • To increase cerebral blood or in arteriosclerotic patients undergoing surgery
  • To stimulate respiration after a period of apnea
  • In chronic respiratory obstruction after it has been relieved
  • To prevent hypocapnia during hyperventilation
  • For clinical and physiological investigations
  • In gynaecological investigation for insufflation into fallopian tubes and abdominal cavities as solid carbon dioxide (dry ice) in tissue freezing techniques
  • For the destruction of warts by freezing 

Future use of the Capnometer

With our High-Resolution Platform (HPP), CO2 can be monitored without intruding on the user’s integrity. This will open an opportunity for the elderly and their relatives to increase safety in daily life.

Sensor challenges

Due to the importance of human safety in emergency situations, the sensor has to work flawlessly and quickly. From the first breath, the monitoring system has to deliver exact levels to the equipment. The character of the curve created gives the trained staff important information on traumas, inner bleedings, brain damage, etc. Working temperature can be extreme (from -5 to +40°C) and humidity can vary from 10% to 90% (non-condensing). 

Health and fitness

Health and fitness is a field where sensors will have a huge impact. One part of the potential lies in miniaturisation and price, the other in the awareness we all gain through new technology (fitness watches, smartphones, etc.) and education on body functionality.

Cells use oxygen and glucose to produce energy, and they release CO2 into the bloodstream to be carried to the lungs. The amount of exhaled CO2 depends on the adequacy of circulation in the lungs, which provides clues about circulation to the rest of the body.

Training

When it comes to fitness, your tolerance to CO2 can be improved and you can thereby increase your capacity. One way to improve your tolerance is with a training mask.

Click here if you want to read more about how and why it works.

But where does the sensor come in, you wonder? Today, CO2 is measured in VO2 tests, a rather complicated test where you have to use fixed equipment in a “lab situation”. We see other ways to do this: in conjunction with training masks and a small mobile sensor that will follow you during your exercise.

Obesity

How are we doing? According to WHO, over 650 million adults and over 340 million children and adolescents were obese in 2016. It is, however, important to remember that obesity is both preventable and reversible. If you wish to lose excess weight or get healthier, our sensors could help you achieve your goal.

"Metabolism" is a generic term for all the chemical reactions that break down food to provide energy for the organism. In the process, oxygen is required and carbon dioxide is released.

Soon, you might find yourself measuring your exhaled CO2 level to know if you need more food, or even what kind of food you should eat. As obesity is becoming a worldwide concern, we look for ways to stop or limit the rapid escalation.

Shipping container athmosphere

Today, you can buy perfectly ripe bananas thousands of miles from where they grew. Shipping time is moving from four to eight weeks, which results in less spoilage. The secret is a well-managed atmosphere where the temperature is kept low and COand ethylene are removed as they are produced by the fruits, vegetables, or legumes. CO2 is managed to remain between 0-19%, and for that, a solid and reliable sensor is needed.

Sensor challenge

Shipping containers travel the world: from hot and humid places over salty oceans to the colder northern regions. Most of them travel on deck, each one connected to power and monitoring, each one with its own control system.

Configure your own solution

There are three simple steps from Sensor Core to a finished inCase solution. Choose your adaptable platforms and add all the features you need.

1

Choose your Sensor Core platform

2

Add features to your Sensor onBoard

3

Design your Sensor inCase