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Printed polymers, patterned paper

New way to bring the lab to the sample, instead of the sample to the lab

In his research, Gert Salentijn investigated several approaches to decrease the dependence of chemical analysis on stationary laboratory facilities to make it more accessible, or as it is popularly phrased: “to bring the lab to the sample, instead of the sample to the lab”. This type of approach has been receiving a lot of attention recently, driven by a strong need in (low-resource) point-of-care settings for speed, flexibility and cost-effectiveness in disease diagnosis.
This project was financed by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), and aimed to develop disposable sample interfaces for on-site analysis with a portable mass-spectrometric instrument. At the core of the research lies a simple, yet elegant material that already has a long history in science, namely paper. By approaching this material in a number of different ways, amongst which the integration into 3D-printed devices, it has proven possible to leverage paper-based analysis. The tools and techniques that were developed in the research encompass a range of new functionalities that can be applied to making smarter and better tests, while ensuring affordability. The dissertation can be found here.