Haydale reports on a presentation given at the recent Advanced Functional & Industrial Printing 2016 meeting that describes the development of roll-to-roll gravure printing of biosensors based upon electrically conductive graphene structures and adherence proteins.

The described development was a result of a project undertaken by a consortium of organisations** lead by the Frauhofer Institut fűr Biomedizinische Technik (IBMT) and involving Haydale in the development of biocompatible and electrically conductive graphene ink suited for gravure printing.

Using its proprietary HDPlas plasma technology, Haydale was able to develop the required surface functionalised graphene ink that was gravure printed and implemented as a base biosensor on cell culture microplates.

The presentation provides detail of the graphene ink biosensor development, its electrical characterisation and cytotoxicity testing. Further information is provided on fabrication of the gravure printing cylinders and the R2R gravure printing process using the graphene ink.

The presentation concludes that this collaborative project has successfully demonstrated gravure printing with the developed functionalised graphene ink. The developed graphene ink has been shown not to be cytotoxic and thus suitable for use in biosensors. Cell adhesion is enhanced by additional protein coating on the graphene structures. The next stage of this project is to validate the performance of the biosensors in a series of target applications.

Haydale has previously reported on grant awards for two biosensor ink projects. Both are progressing well and should lead to the development of commercial products in approximately 12-18 months’ time. One of these projects is using a screen printed process to develop an intelligent sensor that measures diabetes levels in blood samples, the second, is for a general pathogen detection unit on a reel to reel system run by Frauhofer IBMT and other consortium partners.

** The collaborative partners for this project included Frauhofer IBMT (R2R gravure printing process -(graphene and proteins) and biocompatibility testing ; Saueressig GmbH + Co. KG (the R2R two-colour printing machine and laserbased method for micro patterning of gravure printing cylinders), Haydale Ltd (development of biocompatible graphene ink for gravure printing and AiCuris GmbH & Co. KG / cellasys GmbH (applications development).