The world-wide deployment of biomedical devices for health monitoring, point-of-care diagnostics and environmental sensing is hampered by their high cost that is not readily affordable for e.g. developing countries. The primary task is therefore to reduce the price of the devices and allow for their high-volume delivery in a cost efficient manner, e.g. container transportation. For the latter, a crucial aspect is to reduce the weight of the device.
Within the Silicon Nanowire Research Path (SiNW) of TU Dresden's Cluster of Excellence 'Center for Advancing Electronics Dresden' (cfaed), the scientists realized a light weight and mechanically flexible diagnostic platform based on cost-effective highly sensitive Si nanowire field effect transistors fabricated on flexible polymeric foils, which are only 100 µm thick. The devices reveal a remarkable limit of detection for subtype H1N1 Avian Influenza Virus, which is considered as a global major risk for human health, exemplified by the declaration as pandemic to the 2009 swine-origin one. The devices on polymeric support are about 10 times lighter compared to their rigid counterparts realized on conventional Si wafers which make them cost efficient for high-volume delivery to medical institutions worldwide. The researchers envision that the realization of the sensitive diagnostic platform will allow the timely diagnosis of the viral or infectious diseases also in the developing countries.
This work was carried out at the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research Dresden (IFW) in cooperation with the Chair of Materials Science and Nanotechnology of TU Dresden and NaMLab gGmbH.
The original work was published as a cover story of the recent issue of Advanced Healthcare Materials.