The development of point of care devices that provide rapid analysis close to the patient is critical to ensure more effective treatments and a reduction in healthcare costs. Exhaled breath analysis is an ideal point of care test and this technique can utilize nanomaterial-based devices as ultrasensitive chemical and biosensors. Nanomaterial sensors have high surface area and can be customised to be selective to specific target gases. As a consequence, low quantities of material can be used in the fabrication process, which would lead to a lower fabrication cost. Ink formulations have been developed to a reliable method to deposit active nanomaterial.
There are many techniques to fabricate biosensors but the high cost of supplying low volumes of sensors using Si manufacturing processes has become a major barrier for commercialization of innovative exhaled breath sensors. The production of breath sensors using printed electronics techniques would make it easier to penetrate the point of care markets, especially where cost is an issue. Inkjet printing solutions of semiconductors is an ideal scalable and cost-effective process technology for making low-cost electronics. We successfully investigated the fabrication of an exhaled breath sensors array using inkjet-printed processes and which have high performance. Further work will begin to develop a roll-2roll manufacturing technique. This future exciting development can utilise advanced patterned substrates, biospotting and encapsulation in pilot lines at the High-Value Manufacturing Centre.