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Printed Electronics World
Posted on August 1, 2005 by  & 

Polymer bioelectronics and biosensors

Food-borne diseases kill tens of thousands of people every year in first world countries. Biosensors can be used to detect pathogens (such as E-coli) in food. Conventional techniques (culturing in a lab) take up to a week to produce conclusive results. Some technologies, such as fibre-optic biosensors, take several hours. The latest generation of biosensors take only minutes to reach an accurate result. Of these, printed-electronic biosensors are among the cheapest and most portable.
Low-cost, disposable printed electronics are ideal for medical biosensors because of the hygiene issues surrounding equipment reuse. For example, transcutaneous oxygen sensors, which measure the rate at which oxygen emanates from the skin. These biosensors have various applications including determining the severity of a blocked artery. Yu-Zhi Lam and John Atkinson from the University of Southampton (UK) have demonstrated a screen-printed transcutaneous oxygen sensor composed of gold, silver, platinum and alumina.
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