"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Enfucell Oy's SoftBattery™ - a solution for a problem

Imagine a lightweight, paper thin (less than 1mm) , disposable yet environmentally friendly battery that provides stable, 15. volt 15 milliamp source operating from -25C to +60C that can be supplied on a roll of film which can be overprinted.... and which continue workinf if bent or crumpled.

A solution maybe that is looking for a problem ... it will for example power a singing greetings card non -stop for 30 days .... and not frighten postal X ray machine operators.

This is the SoftBattery™ ,the brain child of Dr, Xia-Chang Zhang of Enfucell Oy , a company with only 15 employees, based at the Innopoli building (pic) in Otaniemi Science Park in Espoo, Finland. CEO Jaakko Happonen, a chemist heads , 3 Chinese graduates of Helsinki University, one Algerian and one Dutch engineer in this polyglot hive of innovation.

After Zhang graduated in China as a biochemical engineer he arrived in Finland to work with Professor Aarne Halme, on galvanic cell technology - what we normally call batteries .. and obtained a Phd from Helsinki University of Technology and became a Finnish citizen 10 years ago. He met his Chinese wife who works for the financial department of Nokia and they are now settled firmly in Finland and have 2 children.

So far, Enfucell has operated on financing from national research funding, provided mainly by the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (TEKES), and the Aloitusrahasto Vera fund.

TEKES expect the batteries will prove to be a major technological breakthrough and granted an unsecured loan of EUR 400,000 to the company in January but expect private funding to follow after the World Economic Forum in Davos named it one of its technology pioneers.

3 main product areas are currently being developed :

1. Cosmetics

Active transdermal therapies by the use of ionthophoretic devices - by the application of a small current - for example , the diffusion of pharmaceutical drugs becomes significantly more effective. Patient compliance and quality of life are improved. Also, drugs that are not robust to transport via the gut have a better chance of systemic success if delivered across the skin.

The small size ( and facility to design specific shapes) , and flexibility, make SoftBatteries™ an ideal power source for transdermal drug delivery, lifting the use of ionthophoretic applications to an previously unknown level of userfriendliness.

The company are currently working in close collaboration with a major cosmetic company to produce cosmetic patches.

Johnson & Johnson subsidiary ALZA have an E-Trans device (pic)which they describe as delivering drugs both locally and systemically by using low-level electrical energy to actively transport drugs through intact skin. E-TRANS® technology may be ideal for treating disorders characterized by episodic or sporadic symptom onset and for drugs requiring precise delivery in high transdermal doses.

Whilst this is the same sizein area of contact as ALZA's D-TRANS® patches it is obviously heavy (200 gms plus) , and moderately bulky, it has been used successfully for fentanyl analgesic delivery for the management of postoperative pain in adults following major gynecological or orthopedic surgery.

2. Logistics

Passive RFID tags are a well established tracking technology but Enfucell see potential in SoftBattery™ is in the design of semi-active and active logistic tags and they are working with RFID producers on both the full integration of the battery technology into the tag and the simple hooking up of individual batteries to the tag.

The SoftBattery™ is produced using silk screen printing and ideally combines with current RFID label production technologies.

Products with active or semit active RFID are available are available from companies such as European Antennae and Axcess especially for vehicle identification in road toll tracking and Axcess International. These tend to be larger palm type devices and provide a signal which can typically extend hundreds of feet and take their power source from on board the vehicle.

The ability to provide a low cost , disposable active device obviously has a place in short shelf life product tracking, especially in the food industry where low temperatures can affect passive tagging.

3. Paper products

Greetings cards have been designed for the playing of simple tunes for many years, the low environmental load these devices offer and the ease with which they can be introduced as roll fed adhesive products obviously makes them attractive. Greetings cards in the US alone an annual US$7.5 Bn. business dominated by Kansas City, Mo.-based Hallmark, with 50% of the market, and Cleveland-based American Greetings, with 35%.

Just as "scratch and sniff " has been introduced in glossy women's magazines for cosmetic products, maybe they could be introduced to provide sound samples in magazines, product catalogues etc.,

They may also be used to drive LED based paper like devices as well such as those from Plastic Logic or as they call them "flexible active-matrix displays" (learn more at the Flex-Idis seminar Kings College Cambridge 29th March 2007) See pic and read CBS news today, FT 14th May 2007, Time Magazine Feb 8th 2007, New Scientist 25th Jan 2007.

This is a must know technology.

1 comment:

sam_m said...

"This is a must know technology."

Yes but, how does it work??

(C) Very Seriously Disorganised Criminals 2002/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 - copy anything you wish