The use cases will be developed through a common toolbox of electronic components or technology blocks which will include flexible integrated circuits (FlexIC), power management (bioenzymatic fuel cell or NFC as battery-less readout), wireless and sensors as well as encapsulation, integration and assembly technologies.
R2R patterning of metals will be achieved using screen printing or semi-additive R2R lithography processes and will be used for a variety of functions, including interconnections between the components, data transmission, electrochemical transduction, and heating
The three use cases will be:
Chronic wounds such as chronic leg ulcers are most common amongst those over 75 and these have a profound impact on older adults with a decline in the Quality of Life (QoL) which is similar to that of kidney or heart failure. An aging population along with increasing prevalence of diseases such as cancer and diabetes will mean that this market will continue to increase. Additionally, wound treatment is time consuming and requires expensive medical care and also an increasing number of older adults are undergoing surgery and are at risk of wound complications.
SusFE aims at delivering a sensing array for physical and chemical parameters (pH, pO2, strain) on a medical substrate as part of wound bandage that will be used to indicate the healing process. Signals from the sensor array within the wound bandage could shorten the time required for self-healing and reduce the cost of medical treatment. In the case of severe wound infections, the smart wound bandage will speed up the response time which will benefit the patient and reduce cost burden of further complications.
Self-sampling of blood open possibilities for patientsto takes a blood sample by themselves in their home. The sample can be sent it via regular mail to the laboratory for analysis. This avoids the need for a patient to travel to a clinic or visits by a nurse or phlebotomists and can be carried out with reduced burden on the healthcare system. Home sampling also reduce the risk of exposure to infectous disease, an important factor for vulnerable patients not least prooven during the recent pandemic.
Self-sampling results in a reduction in transports and consumables and are more convenient solutions for the healthcare- and patients for tests based on blood or plasma. For some analysis, for example the study of drug concentrations, it is important to know the time and date when the blood sample was taken. In SusFE, an integrated electronic timestamp function will be developed that can register the the time of the sampling event in the patients home and be read out upon arrival at the laboratory.
Point of care (POC) diagnostics:
Electrochemical biosensors are well known as sensitive tools for detecting various substances of clinical, pharmaceutical, food and environmental origin. Demanding eco-friendliness and sustainability paves the way to rethink the designs, materials, and fabrication methods for such useful mass-products. Currently, commercial electrochemical sensors are mostly fabricated on glass, silicon, and other rigid surfaces which are neither biodegradable nor sustainable.
Complicated methods and non-eco-friendly materials are used for fabrication of such devices. SusFE will fabricate an eco-friendly, sustainable electrochemical sensor platform with microfluidics on bio-based flexible substrate material and use methods which allow reduction of chemical wastes in sensor fabrication and minimizes the use of toxic/hazardous reagents and solvent systems in the process. Ecological choices will be considered in all steps starting from structural designs to processes and waste treatment.