Pilot line for paper based electrochemical test strips dedicated to quantitative biosensing in liquids

The IMPETUS pilot line will pave the way towards the real world application of paper-based quantitative electrochemical diagnostic test strips, thereby clearly advancing the current state-of-the-art, which up to now has mostly focussed on individual fabrication processes and device concepts.



IMPETUS will combine paper, printing and microchip technologies to realize a pilot line in an industrial environment capable of manufacturing fully integrated paper-based electrochemical biosensors that directly transfer the measured data to the user’s smartphone. These biosensors will be designed as self-powered disposable test strips that combine the simplicity of lateral flow tests with quantitative readout, which is enabled by the implemented electrochemical detection method. As an application example, IMPETUS will fulfil the consumer need for fast and inexpensive point-of-care discrimination between bacterial and viral infections.


New technologies will be developed for paper manufacturing, coating and surface modification, and the respective processing will work hand in hand with the ink development (cellulose-based inks for fabricating the printed battery as well as bio-inks for surface functionalization and reagent deposition). A highly integrated and energy efficient silicon microchip will be developed that enables electrochemical signal acquisition, storage and contactless NFC transmission. The microchip will be mounted onto the paper substrate by an inline placement process. Paper will be employed as substrate for the printed circuits and the microchip, but also as active component of the printed battery as well as of the biosensor.

Pilot Line

The IMPETUS pilot line will integrate screen-, flexo-, inkjet-printing and an unhoused chip placement in a seamless roll-to-roll process compatible with high throughput fabrication. As result, the pilot line will offer the possibility to be easily adapted for various sensing applications (e.g. medical diagnostics, food safety) accessible to interested third parties after the project end.


IMPETUS is a four-year collaborative project coordinated by AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH. The project has been launched in January 2018 and brings together twelve leading partners with a strong focus on industrialization: three research institutes (AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, Papiertechnische Stiftung, Technische Universität Chemnitz), two small-medium (Maurer Services GmbH, Saralon GmbH) and seven large enterprises (DPI Holding GmbH, Gwent Electronic Materials Limited, Infineon Technologies Austria AG, Melecs EWS GmbH, R-Biopharm AG, Ricoh UK Products Ltd, Schoeller Technocell GmbH & Co KG).


AIT Austrian Institute of Technology
Center for Health & Bioresources
Molecular Diagnostics
Giefinggasse 4, 1210 Vienna, Austria

Dr. Rainer Hainberger
Tel: +43 50550-4304, Fax: +4350550-4399
E-mail: rainer.hainberger (at) ait.ac.at

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 761167.