Application: Biosensor functionalization 

AIT Austrian Institute of Technology is Austria’s largest applied research institute. Within the AIT, the Competence Unit Molecular Diagnostics is at the forefront of developing cutting-edge technologies and innovative approaches for non-invasive and minimally invasive diagnostics. The focus spans from biomarker discovery, assay design, bioinformatics, and customized analysis to mass-fabricable and cost-effective biosensing systems for point-of-need applications. 

From left to right: Locally functionalized microneedle sensor for glucose and lactate measurement (H2020 project ELSAH 825549), a point-of-need system for detection of breast cancer tumor DNA (FFG projects: Predict 870027, NanoPredict FO999899038), optical quality control of screen-printed sensor sheets.

To meet the demand for precise and reproducible surface modification of sensors and microfluidics, AIT is equipped with state-of-the-art non-contact liquid handling systems such as the M2-Automation iONE-600 dispenser, known for its precision in position (±3 µm) and volume control (SD 3-5%). Its pico- and nanoliter dispensing units enable precise modification of target structures (dimensions of 100 µm up to mm-scale) with (bio)ink volumes ranging from 100 pL to mL. The dispenser facilitates modification of substrates up to A3 size under a controlled atmosphere, ensuring reproducibility (humidifier, temperature control, ionizer) and efficiency.

From left to right: M2-Automation iONE-600 dispenser, sensor sheet with 32 sensors, six working electrodes per sensor, 1µL of redox-active methylene blue graphene oxide composite dispensed with M2MD nanoliter dispenser, differential pulse voltammetry-based quality control of electrochemical sensor with six electrodes showing excellent reproducibility (H2020 project GreenSense 761000).

The creation of dispensing patterns for 2D and 3D substrates is facilitated by a DXF-file importer. Efficient processing of sensor and microfluidic foils is achieved through fast axes movement and fiducial reference marker recognition. Quality control is of paramount importance and AIT employs a range of methods (light microscopy, SEM, EDX, electrochemical testing) to ensure process integrity and accuracy.