Printer ink technology could be used to detect toxins

2009-07-15 07:33:15

Published on 2009-07-15 07:33:15

A new method of detecting harmful toxins could be developed using the technology contained within ink cartridge printers.

That is according to a team of researchers from McMaster University in Canada, who described a new technique for printing a biosensor that can detect toxins onto paper using a FujiFilm Dimatix Materials Printer.

The specialist inkjet device, which features piezoelectric printheads & fluid dispensing micropumps, was able to print paper that can detect the presence of certain enzymes similar to how a home pregnancy kit works.

Writing in the journal Analytical Chemistry, the scientists explained that the process involves creating ink similar to that used in office printers - special chemicals were then added to make the ink "biocompatible".

They suggested that the bioactive paper could be used for a number of clinical tests and procedures including drug assessments, the development of pharmaceuticals and neuroscience.

The Fujifilm Dimatix Materials Printer DMP-3000 has a printable area of 300x300mm and is capable of printing onto a range of "substrates" including plastic, glass, ceramics, silicon, membranes, gels, thin films and paper.

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