The detection of some analytes, for example heavy metal ions, is crucial in locations such as developing countries or humanitarian emergencies, where no qualified professionals or sophisticated equipment is available.
In this project, a detection system using inkjet printing technology is developed. The system relies on printing of hydrophobic UV-curable inks to define microfluidic channels in paper, and to print a sensor inside this channel. After that, a solution sample can be dropped into the channel,
resulting in a colour change of the sensor. By digitally measuring the colour change, the analyte quantity can be determined. Actually, the main focus of the project is the testing of different channel geometries in order to improve their performance.
The aim of this project is not only to develop a detection system, since nowadays a lot of them are already available. The system proposed here requires neither qualified professionals nor very sophisticated equipment for operation. Actually, the goal is to detect with as simple equipment as possible. Only a computer, a commercially available printer and a colour scanner would be sufficient, making it possible to use them in areas such as developing countries or in humanitarian emergencies. Besides, this detection system has been designed to be as environmentally friendly as possible.
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