Awards 2016

Help for livestock farmers: SensiTemp’s colour-coded straws for the herd

Managing livestock is already a dawn-to-dusk job, so procreation of the herd should be as smooth and efficient as possible. That’s where IMV Technologies and Catalyse saw a reason to team up to create a PVC straw with temperature colour coding for artificial insemination.

As the straws contain frozen semen, “the right thawing might limit any loss. Therefore this product could be considered a great advancement in better thawing efficiency,” says IMV Technologies.

The straw is made of thermochromic plastic and the frozen semen inside is thawed in a water bath at 37 Celsius. Blue while frozen, the straw changes to white. “That´s an indicator of proper thawing,” says Gil Vilaca of Catalyse.

We spent five years developing that solution together with IMV,”says Vilaca. “Since last year we’ve also been producing thermochromic capsules for this application.”

In developing the colour-coded microcap, IMV checked the toxicity of the new materials in their medical application. Another challenge was to produce the device by PVC extrusion with thermochromic microcaps (10 microns in diameter) inside.

SensiTemp shows it is possible to bring innovation into the most common polymer,“says Vilaca. “”