Institute of Functional Interfaces

M.Sc. Huyen-Tram Tran


Analysis system for clinical diagnostics using 3D-printed components

Accurate identification of patients’ diseases is a critical element of effective medical treatment. However, in developing countries the access to modern diagnostic services for infectious diseases is severely restricted by economic or environmental factors. Limited resources are for example lack of electric and water supply as well as the shortage of trained personnel. Additionally, in many cases highly sophisticated diagnostic devices are not suitable to adverse environmental conditions and insecure supply routes with spare parts. Therefore, there is a need of developing an appropriate diagnostic device which meet the WHO defined ASSURED criteria of affordability, sensitivity, specificity, user-friendliness, rapid results, equipment-free and delivered to patients

In order to achieve this, a completely new approach for the construction of medical devices will be pursued. Most parts were designed as self 3D printable parts, an approach which has so far mainly been used in 3D printing technology for self-reproducing printers (so-called RepRap printers) [2].  This approach should enable an easy access to enhanced diagnostic tools to developing countries such as Africa. This easy-to- use analysis device has a configurable modular design. The main units are the position module, pipetting and fluidic management module and a detection module (see Figure). The control of the system will be realized by a smart phone app.

The aim of this project is to design, manufacture, control and test a diagnostic device which,    due to its simple construction and the printed components used, can be manufactured very cost-effectively and which, due to the assays used, also meets the requirements of the market in developing countries.



Figure 1: Modular Design of an analysis system  Figure 2: Prototype of the position unit with 3D printed components 




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