SEOUL, April 13 (Korea Bizwire) – A joint team of scientists from South Korea, Denmark and Thailand have developed a paper-based chip using conductive ink on printer paper that can be synced wirelessly with a smartphone for medical diagnosis.
The team took advantage of the properties of electrowetting – using voltage to change the shape of a liquid droplet or transport fluid – so that the chip can control the time and direction of the droplet’s movement.
With the electrical current flowing on the surface of the chip, it can monitor the droplet’s reaction with chemical reagents for the diagnosis of various diseases, including diabetes, kidney anomalies and brain diseases.
According to the team, the device can detect at least three different diseases with a single drop of blood. And because the chip can be “printed” with a commercial printer by simply using conductive ink, it is highly accessible and budget friendly.
Scientists are hopeful that this technology will provide a cost-effective alternative for diagnosing epidemics and analyzing pollutants, given its compatibility with a wide range of applications.
“It is a technology that can diagnose diseases in real-time without expensive equipment or professional medical staff,” said Shin Kwan-woo, a chemistry professor at Sogang University, who took part in the research. “We’re discussing its transfer with a couple of companies, and we expect its commercialization within the next three to four years.”
The team has filed for patents in the U.S. and South Korea. Funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning and the National Research Foundation of Korea, the full research findings were published last month in Advanced Materials Technologies.
By Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)