Graphene-focused tech company Archer Materials (ASX: AXE) has successfully developed a prototype of its biosensor device using additive manufacturing and a 3D printer to produce hardware that will be vital to their biotech roadmap.
The 3D printed device forms the outer cartridge which houses the graphene sensor, with the hardware design having been specifically engineered to provide greater control over evaporation, which can improve accuracy and reproducibility when used.
“Additive manufacturing allows Archer to make prototypes of key biosensor elements in less than a few hours,” said Archer CEO, Dr Mohammad Choucair.
“By using 3D printing we are able to accelerate progress towards commercialising Archer’s innovative graphene-based biosensor technology.”
The cartridges are produced using acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, the same plastic used in Lego, and can be produced in less than 2 hours with a production cost of around $0.50 each.
While the Company acknowledges that the 3D printed cartridges are not a substitute for high-volume manufacturing, the prototype has been specifically designed to enable the best results for the actual graphene biosensor, which can detect various ions and molecules in water.
Located at the top of the cartridge are two wells which connect to the biosensor circuit board where users can easily guide fluids for testing.
According to Archer, there are very few materials in existence capable of performing biosensing rapidly and accurately for human health diagnostics, with graphene being one.
Having partnered with the University of Adelaide where the prototype was developed, Archer has access to world-class 3D printers and facilities with the institution also being a founding partner of the ARC Research Hub for Graphene Enabled Industry Transformation.
Although the successful prototype of Archer’s biosensor cartridge still has the Company in they very early stages of their commercialisation plans, graphene-based biosensors have proven to detect a range of targets, including cancer molecules and specific genes within DNA.
Biosensor technology is just one application of graphene Archer is currently developing, alongside a quantum computing chip. Earlier in the year, Archer partnered with IBM to advance their quantum computing work towards solutions for widescale adoption with Dr Choucair being the co-inventor of Archer’s CQ chip technology.
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