Research team led by the Senior Scientific Research Council (CSIC) has developed a new intelligent device. It's an eight-centimeter paper battery length and four centimeters wide; It could be used to facilitate the diagnosis of cystic fibrosis. This is hereditary pathology of mucus glands and sweat. The results of the tests with this new battery are published in the magazine Microsystems and Nanoengineering.
Systic fibrosis is the most common rare disease in the West and in Spain about 2,500 people suffer from it; according to data from the Spanish Federation of Synthetic Fibrosis. It is characterized by affecting body areas that produce secretions; and because of the infections and the inflammation that it causes in lung areas, liver, pancreas and reproductive system. I usually diagnose during sweat analysis; In patients affected by the disease, it's more arrow than normal.
"It would cost very low"
The new device includes a patch for the skin, battery and sensor at the same time; can generate power more or less according to the capacity of the fluid that is wet. When it comes in contact with a fluid, this type of plaster activates the electrochemical reaction of electrodes. If the analyzed fluid is more conductor (more arrow), the device generates more power; If it's less a driver (less arrow), it's producing less.
"This piece, which does not depend on any external power source, would be very easy to use and would be very low cost; which would allow measurement without external medical equipment, usually expensive, making it accessible to a larger number of hospitals and health centers ", explains the CSIC researcher Juan Pablo Esquivel; who works at the Microelectronics Institute of Barcelona.
From the beginning & the operation
Firstly, the researchers examined the principle of acting with the measurement of the battery battery when it was activated with saline solutions of different transportations. "With this, we showed that the battery was sensitive in the interesting range of sensitivity and we were able to distinguish between the difference between the salt and the other," explained Esquivel.
Subsequently, the scientists developed the electronic circuit, which had to work with the same power generated by the battery, to differentiate that power value, compare if it was higher or more than a value Specific threshold and conversion to something that could be read to a simple view
New diagnostic devices
The project leader researcher Neus Sabaté, ICREA teacher and project leader, said: "This work shows the ability to create new self-power diagnostic devices by combining the potential offered by the technologies of printed, microfluidic electronics And electrochemical energy sources that are integrated into sub-strands of paper. "
In fact, it adds, "we are already exploring the feasibility of this device for other applications such as sweat analysis in athletes or irrigation water intensity levels."
The work is part of the ERC SUPERCELL Integrator Grant project, which aims to develop fuel cells and paper batteries to design a new generation of diagnostic devices in vitro Self-powered
These ecological and one-off energy sources will enable portable diagnostic devices, such as pregnancy tests and glucometers. In each of them the same liquid is intended to be analyzed as a fuel.
The device, the best 2018 prototype of the Organic and Printed Electronics Association, has patented it. Researchers are hoping to continue to develop the technology and their clinical authentication is transferable to the market, re-qualifying and experience gained with creating & # 39; the company Fuelium, SL, the accession of the CSIC established in 2015 with them as well as partners of the scientific and industrial field.
Currently, Fuelium is already licensing only a patent property of the CSIC and trading a paper batteries technology for one-use applications. So far, the company has received unprecedented funding from private and public sources, such as the Repsol Foundation Entrepreneurs Fund, the Torres Quevedo Program, the CDT NEOTEC Program, the European Commission's SME Instruments Program, among others. In addition, the company has signed development contracts with clients of international companies.
More news in Change16