Engineering Layers for a Printable Immunodiagnostic Device
Halberstadt, Lynza C.
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Most of the present medical devices designed for and used in developing countries are inadequate because they require constant electricity, a supply of reagents, and highly skilled personnel which are not always available. An inexpensive hand-held immunodiagnostic device is being developed to counteract this problem. The disposable test strips envisioned for use in this device will be made by ink-jet printing a multi-layered circuit incorporating specific antibodies onto a paper or polymer substrate. A sample containing the target antigen specific to the antibodies will be placed on the test strip in the device. The antigens will bind to the antibodies incorporated in the circuit, creating a measurable change in an electrical parameter of the device. This study focuses on defining surface properties of a material on which to build the device and the properties of a material which serves as an insulating layer in the device. The surfaces examined were all based around polyethyleneterephthalate (PET) that have been washed with isopropyl alcohol and/or UV oxidized. The insulating layer was designed using a polymer dispersion, a solvent, a co-solvent of low surface tension, and a co-solvent of high viscosity in order to make an effective and ink-jet printable insulator with the correct surface tension and viscosity. The composition of the insulating solution is not being disclosed.