The National Research Foundation of Korea claims to the new technology can diagnose blood sugar, kidney and brain diseases through a paper electronic chip that connects to a smartphone, according to Business Korea.
Shin Kwan-woo of Sogang University led a research team to develop this paper-based technology using a smartphone and an at-home inkjet printer.
The device has a detachable sensor and absorber modules that are assembled on an open chip plate to detect the three diagnostic biological molecules – glucose, dopamine and uric acid. The paper chip also uses electrowetting to control electric signals with the printing technology on the paper, instead of using silicon substrate, to diagnose and analyze diseases as a medical diagnostic device.
The system has a portable power supply and wireless control system to make the paper-based chip used as an advanced point-of-care device in digital microfluidics.
The first instance of a successful paper diagnostic chip was created by the Whiteside group in 2007.
Other paper-based medical devices have also been created in recent years.
A Stanford-based engineering professor has been on a mission to create laboratory devices using paper to make cheap tools and to be able to fit an entire laboratory in a backpack. He notably created a hand-powered centrifuge out of paper called the Paperfuge for less than 25 cents. The Paperfuge reaches rotational speeds of 125,000 rpms and can isolate malaria parasites in minutes. He also developed a fully-functioning microscope, the Foldscope, for just under a dollar. North Carolina researchers also used paper to develop a pump that could power microfluidic devices.
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