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.
The IMPETUS pilot line is based on a series printing machine (roll to roll, roll to cutsheet), which is designed for the production of mass products. The machine is located in the production facility of the company tagtron gmbh in Austria.
Within the framework of the Impetus project, this printing machine was upgraded for the specific research requirements with the following units for an inline production process:
1 screen printing unit
1 flexographic printing unit
1 inkjet module
1 chip placement unit
3 drying units (IR, HFD, UV)
The Impetus pilot line offers the possibility of manufacturing various sensors and actuators (e.g. for medical diagnostics, food safety, etc.) and, after the end of the project, further use as an EU pilot line for similar R&D projects.