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Home Industry News New technique for printing paper biosensors offers medical applications

New technique for printing paper biosensors offers medical applications

10th April 2015

Researchers at McMaster University have developed a new way to print paper biosensors using commonly available printing technology, creating the possibility for new medical advances.

The team used state-of-the-art methods to produce bio-inks that allow conventional office inkjet printers to be used to print man-made DNA molecules with very high molecular weight on paper.

Because of the size of the DNA, this technique can ensure it remains immobilised and therefore stable. The paper sensor is ready to use upon emergence from the printer, much like pH paper, and produces a signal when a specific disease biomarker is present.

These paper biosensors could greatly simplify the diagnosis of many bacterial and respiratory infections without the need for lab analysis, while food packaging could be developed that gives text warnings when the food is contaminated with pathogens like E. coli and Salmonella.

Current paper-based biosensing techniques are labour-intensive, costly and difficult to mass-produce, meaning this new method represents a major advance.

John Brennan, director of McMaster's Biointerfaces Institute, said: "We could conceivably adapt this for numerous applications which would include rapid detection of cancer, or monitoring toxins in the water supply. There are hundreds of possibilities."ADNFCR-8000103-ID-801783118-ADNFCR

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