University of Tasmania Professor wins grant to develop next-gen portable analytical systems

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Researchers from the University of Tasmania researchers have received a $630,000 grant from the Australian Research Council (ARC) for a project focusing on the development of 3D printing and portable analytical systems.

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The project will be carried out in partnership with Taiwanese-based optical manufacturer Young Optics over the next three years and will be led by Professor Michael Breadmore, an analytical chemist and ARC Future Fellow at the University of Tasmania’s Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology.

The two parties will develop a new high-resolution, high-speed printer that will allow the development of the next-gen portable analytical systems which would enable complex analysis of samples and deliver on-the-spot results, much like the home-pregnancy tests and blood-alcohol tests.

According to Mr Breadmore, these systems would have applications in a broad range of fields, including health, the environment and agriculture.

“In terms of research we are leading the micro-engineering space with 3D printers. I’m interested in tailoring portable systems across a range of areas – from measuring nutrients in fertiliser run-off to health through easy and accessible diagnostic devices for therapeutics and biomarkers,” he said.

“Being able to analyse samples – of blood, or explosives residue, measuring the health of mussels, or anything else – on the spot, as needed, has the potential to revolutionise so many industries and impact a society in a completely different way.”