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Preliminary Study of Tracking and Identification of In Vitro Fertilisation Samples Using RFID

Hajian, M.; Lens, J.; Spitas, C.

Journal of Clinical Engineering: April/June 2012 - Volume 37 - Issue 2 - p 68–74
doi: 10.1097/JCE.0b013e31824e725e
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In recent years Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) has received considerable attention in the medical field, particularly as it is a major technology for automatic identification and tracking of medical supplies. RFID can help healthcare organizations to track and identify the medical samples in order to prevent medical errors and improve patient care. One of the drawbacks of RFID is blind spots. Blind spots are the regions within the maximum operating range of the RFID system where the RFID reader fails to read the RFID tag. In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) at the Vrije University Medical Center (VUMC) in Amsterdam are interested in the tracking, identification and who is processing the samples, which could lead to cost savings and error prevention. The samples are kept in metallic containers filled with liquid Nitrogen imitating a Faraday cage and hence this produces a blind spot. Preliminary measurement has been carry out to identify the effect of EM waves on the samples. An alternative design is proposed to overcome the blind spot problem. Theoretical results are presented to evaluate the effect of the metallic container to the return losses of antenna located inside the container. Moreover preliminary theoretical and experimental results for LOS measurements are given to demonstrate the suggested design.

Index Terms—In Vitro Fertilisation, RFID, Blind spot, Resonance frequency, Return losses, Permittivity.

In recent years Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) has received considerable attention in the medical field, particularly as it is a major technology for automatic identification and tracking of medical supplies. RFID can help healthcare organizations to track and identify the medical samples in order to prevent medical errors and improve patient care. One of the drawbacks of RFID is blind spots. Blind spots are the regions within the maximum operating range of the RFID system where the RFID reader fails to read the RFID tag. In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) at the Vrije University Medical Center (VUMC) in Amsterdam are interested in the tracking, identification and who is processing the samples, which could lead to cost savings and error prevention. The samples are kept in metallic containers filled with liquid Nitrogen imitating a Faraday cage and hence this produces a blind spot. Preliminary measurement has been carry out to identify the effect of EM waves on the samples. An alternative design is proposed to overcome the blind spot problem. Theoretical results are presented to evaluate the effect of the metallic container to the return losses of antenna located inside the container. Moreover preliminary theoretical and experimental results for LOS measurements are given to demonstrate the suggested design.

Corresponding author: Dr M. Hajian.

M. Hajian has received his MS and PhD degrees from Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Informatics, in the field of mobile communication and antenna synthesis, respectively. In 1990, he started working in the microwave and radar laboratory of the Delft University of Technology. In 1995, he became senior lecturer teaching a course in the field of antennas. He was the Netherlands representative of European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research 260 on adaptive antennas. He has done research on antenna near field measurement techniques, antenna modeling and numerical electromagnetism, antenna signal processing, smart antennas, and space-time coding in mobile communication systems. For his PhD, he worked on the modeling and synthesis of active reflectarray antenna technology and fabrications. In 2007, he moved from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Informatics to the Faculty of Industrial Design. He has published over 50 scientific papers in journals and conferences. In 2002, he wrote a chapter in the book Microwave Waveguides published by Wiley & Sons. In 2007, the paper entitled “Ultra-Wideband Imaging for Detection of Early-Stage Breast Cancer,” which was presented by his student X. Zhuge, was awarded with the best student paper at European Microwave Week Conference in Munich, Germany, October 2007.

Jan Willem Lens was born on October 18, 1952, in Den Haag, the Netherlands. He studied medical biology at Amsterdam University and received his PhD from University of Nijmegen in medical science. Since 1988, he has been working as a clinical embryologist in the IVF Center (in vitro fertilization) of Amsterdam University Medical Centre in Amsterdam. Dr Lens is a member of the European Society of Human Reproduction and the Association of Clinical Embryologists.

Professor Spitas joined Technical University (TU) Delft, Faculty of Industrial Design, in 2009 and holds the chair for Embodiment Design at Industrial Design Engineering and is head of the Product Engineering section. His industrial experience before joining TU Delft spans different engineering design and managerial positions in the power electronics, precision machining, and shaver industries, with several products, proprietary line production, and testing machines and measurement rigs in his portfolio. He also served as an adjunct professor at the Faculty of Production Engineering and Management at the TU Crete and worked with the Institute of Mechanics of Materials and Geostructures in Athens in a number of applied industrial research programs under funding by the European Commission.

This project was carried out in a joint research program between Faculty of Industrial Design at Delf University of Technology and In vitro fertilisation (IVF) of VUMC in the Netherlands.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.