About the Ship-Mate
Compared to other systems that do not actively control semen temperature the Ship-mate slowly cools down and holds the temperature at exactly 5°C. This makes a huge difference in semen viability even on shipments that take up to 3 days. And it is small so overnight and return shipping cost are considerably less.
A Quick Overview of Ship-Mate
Why and How To Ship Semen
Ship Mate: Viewing Status and Clearing Log
Double walled stainless steel flask. 130mm tall, 90mm in diameter.
The flask holds 500ml, but it's recommended you only use 350ml for your shipments to allow room for the battery.
The flask is dishwasher safe to sterilize it. The lid is not. Do not submerse the lid in water.
Top of Lid
The lid contains all the electronics.
A status LED that will flash and change colors.
A light sensor to activate LED status log feedback or reset the log.
Bottom of Lid
The Ship-Mate is powered by a D sized alkaline battery.
A velcro strap is used to keep the battery in place during transport.
A Mini USB connector is located here. Use it to download the log with our Windows Ship-Mate app.
How It Works
Ship-Mate will make a huge difference in your ability to ship chilled semen reliably. The traditional method of shipping chilled semen is by using passive system*. Ice packs in the shipping container cool the specimen, but there is no way to control the rate that the specimen is cooled or the final temperature that it is cooled to. The results are inconsistent and unreliable.
Ship-Mate controls both the cooling rate and final temperature of the specimen. Ship-Mate uses a double walled stainless steel flask that is surround by ice packs inside an insulated foam shipping box. The ice packs alone would damage the specimen by cooling it too fast causing Cold Shock** and also potentially freezing the specimen.
A microprocessor, temperature sensor, heater, and memory are the secrets to successfully shipping chilled semen. The specimen temperature is measured and a small amount of heat is added to the flask thereby controlling the cooling to the ideal rate of 0.5 °C / minute until the sample reaches 18 °C. Then the sample is cooled very slowly at a rate of 1 °C every 20 minutes to exactly 5 °C , this slow cooling rate is necessary to prevent Cold Shock. For the remainder of the trip the sample is held at 5 °C the optimum temperature. It takes about 4.5 hours to properly reach the 5 °C plateau.
The whole process is automated using Ship-Mate, there is no setup required, just load the box with ice packs insert a fresh D cell alkaline battery and Ship-Mate does the rest. Every minute of the trip is logged and can be downloaded for review. Ship-Mate will log the data for up to 90 hours (more ice and bigger insulated box would be required for a trip that long).
* Passive Cooling — Is when the samples cooling rate and final temperature is a function of the packaging material, geometry of the container and external temperature verses an Active Cooling system like Ship-Mate that uses electricity and a computer to control the cooling profile and final shipping temperature.
** Cold Shock — Cold Shock damages the sperm of many species, but the cell injury is not due to exposure of the sperm to a critical temperature rather it is the rapidity of the temperature change from around 18 °C to just about 5 °C.