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Evaluation of Thermal and Nonthermal Effects of UHF RFID Exposure on Biological Drugs

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7 Author(s)
Calcagnini, G. ; Dept. of Technol. & Health, Italian Nat. Inst. of Health, Rome, Italy ; Censi, F. ; Maffia, M. ; Mainetti, L.
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The radio frequency identification (RFID) technology promises to improve several processes in the healthcare scenario, especially those related to the traceability of people and things. Unfortunately, there are still some barriers limiting the large-scale deployment of these innovative technologies in the healthcare field. Among these, the evaluation of potential thermal and nonthermal effects due to the exposure of biopharmaceutical products to electromagnetic fields is very challenging, but still slightly investigated. This paper aims to setup a controlled RF exposure environment, in order to reproduce a worst case exposure of pharmaceutical products to the electromagnetic fields generated by the UHF RFID devices placed along the supply chain. Radiated powers several times higher than recommended by current normative limits were applied (10 and 20 W). The electric field strength at the exposed sample location, used in tests, was as high as 100 V/m. Nonthermal effects were evaluated by chromatography techniques and in vitro assays. The results obtained for a particular case study, the ActrapidTM human insulin preparation, showed temperature increases lower than 0.5 °C and no significant changes in the structure and performance of the considered drug.

Published in:

Information Technology in Biomedicine, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:16 ,  Issue: 6 )
RFID Virtual Journal, IEEE

Date of Publication:

Nov. 2012

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