Industry News: Revolutionizing the Production of Novel Diagnostics with Cost-Effective Roll-To-Roll Imprinting

Biofluidics EU-funded project set to advance production processes in the diagnostic and bioanalysis industries

22 Nov 2018

SCIENION AG have announced that the pioneering work of the EU-funded R2R Biofluidics project has been awarded with the Austrian Fast Forward Award 2018. SCIENION is one of 11 partners of the project consortium that aims at the development of novel production lines for lab-on-chip devices based on high throughput Roll-to-Roll (R2R) nanoimprinting in combination with complementary printing and manufacturing technologies.

Mature Roll-to-Roll (R2R) technologies are well-known in manufacturing processes of the graphical printing industry and are emerging in several other areas. The EU-funded R2R-Biofluidics project has been set up to exploit the potential of roller-based imprinting techniques for production processes in the diagnostic and bioanalysis industry, predominantly for manufacturing microfluidics and lab-on-a-chip devices. These products are needed in high quantities and R2R technologies will allow for a significant reduction of production costs. Targeted application areas are diagnostics, drug discovery and food control.

The eleven R2R Biofluidics project partners jointly develop a completely new process chain for large scale production of selected lab-on-a-chip devices suitable for point-of-care applications, e.g. for detecting antibiotic-resistant pathogens. The novel chips designed for chemiluminescence detection provide improved sensitivity thanks to imprinted nanoscale optical structures and microfluidic channels.

A second subproject aims at developing cell chips containing imprinted cavities and micro- to nanoscale channels for controlled neuron culturing to be applied in high-throughput drug screening. SCIENION’s responsibilities in both subprojects include the surface functionalization of the flexible materials and deposition of biomaterials. For this purpose, SCIENION developed a customized sciFLEXARRAYER which was included in the R2R pilot line for high throughput production of biosensor and cell culture chips.

In September 2018, R2R Biofluidics received the Austrian Fast Forward Award 2018 for the pioneering work to develop novel diagnostics for rapid and reliable pathogen detection. This innovation prize of the Austrian region Styria was awarded to JOANNEUM RESEARCH, coordinator of the R2R Biofluidics project.

Holger Eickhoff, CEO of SCIENION AG, stated: “Receiving the Austrian Fast Forward Award 2018 is an honor and extremely motivating for all project partners, especially as it comes at a stage of our ambitious project when we are setting up a large scale pilot R2R production line. Introducing roll-to-roll technologies for high-throughput manufacturing of diagnostic tests represents a quantum leap: it will notably lower the production costs of flexible devices and will increase manufacturing capacity. We are heading for a new and unrivalled level of diagnostic device production.”