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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/K023454/1
Title: Laser-printable point-of-care sensors for low-cost medical diagnosis and disease monitoring
Principal Investigator: Eason, Professor RW
Other Investigators:
Garbis, Dr S Faust, Professor SN Smith, Professor PJS
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr C Sones
Project Partners:
Department: Optoelectronics Research Ctr (closed)
Organisation: University of Southampton
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 May 2013 Ends: 31 December 2014 Value (£): 186,041
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Biomaterials Lasers & Optics
Med.Instrument.Device& Equip. Optical Devices & Subsystems
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
11 Mar 2013 Engineering Prioritisation Meeting 11/12 March 2013 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The research we are proposing here is to develop laser-printed paper-based sensors that will satisfy the criteria of being robust, inexpensive, user-friendly, disposable, and easy to deliver to those patients and members of the public who need to access point-of-care diagnosis. Such sensors would find a ready market within the healthcare and personalised medicine areas, and would prove invaluable when rapid deployment and testing is required in the case of epidemics or worse still, pandemics.

The proposal here is a first feasibility trial to confirm that we can indeed print viable biological material, for application in detection of selected breast-cancer biomarkers. The markers have been identified and validated by our IfLS/FOM team and are used to study the response of patients receiving chemotherapy. This would represent an original diagnostic product developed at the UoS. The work not only involves laser-based printing, and evaluating post-printing the viability of the printed biomaterial, but also investigating techniques for machining and processing of the paper substrate to be used for the sensor.

There are many advantage of this laser-printing approach that are uniquely appropriate for non-contact delivery of biomedical materials, namely:

Flexible processing (patterning and deposition) by simple changes to laser parameters.

Non-contact processing (patterning and printing) which is vital when dealing with biological agents.

No need for a specialist environment thereby eliminating unwarranted processing costs.

The inherent speed of laser printing: a direct analogy can be drawn from current laser printers which can print many sheets per second.

low production costs because of the possibility to mass-produce devices on a roll-to-roll scale.

High feature resolution allowing the creation of compact devices. (Our final goal in a future follow-up proposal will be to print biomaterials in the form of bar-codes for intelligent/active diagnostics readout via smart phone applications).

This laser-printing requires much smaller reagent/analyte volumes compared to current liquid based delivery (printing) methods.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Organisation Website: http://www.soton.ac.uk