Inkjet printer can produce medical test on single sheet of paper
Sun 12 Jul 2015
Product design and development experts Cambridge Consultants have announced a new inkjet technology which is able to create a medical diagnosis test from one sheet of paper.
The firm hopes that the innovation could provide a low-cost and adaptable diagnosis test, which can be mass produced by the million. Current point-of-care diagnosis is expensive compared to lab testing, however the rise in consumer demand for personal healthcare and well-being management has sparked an urgency for immediate feedback.
Cambridge Consultants has named its concept the XylemDx which allows personal testing at a medical centre to detect anything from the flu to other common viruses, heart conditions, and even pandemic diseases such as Ebola.
The technology works by transforming a single piece of paper into a range of medical tests, using the same production device. Each sheet of paper can be adapted to contain a selection of modules, such as thermal, optical, fluidic and electronic modules.
These modules are printed using inkjet printing techniques which lay out wax into fluidic pathways and silver nanoparticle electronic ink to allow electrical connectivity. The printed page is then concertinaed into a traditional medical test shape.
The printed test paper can read a number of samples including blood, saliva, mucus and urine. They can be configured on a range of readers such as smartphones, USB-powered devices as well as more complex diagnostic equipment.
“Diagnostic tests underpin crucial healthcare decisions so it’s vital they are as fast, accurate, flexible and cost-effective as possible,” explained John Pritchard, head of diagnostics at Cambridge Consultants. “Early diagnosis and better monitoring of conditions reduces expensive complications and keeps people out of hospital – as well as improving quality of life,” he added.