Can We Manufacture Diagnostic Test Strips Using an Inkjet Printer?

Nicholas Frazette, Jennifer Dobson, Arwa Mukhtar, Bridget Burt, Janak Jethva, James Adair, and Khanjan Mehta

IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference,

Frazette, N., Dobson, J., Mukhtar, A., Burt, B., Jethva, J., Adair, J., Mehta, K., “Can We Manufacture Diagnostic Test Strips Using an Inkjet Printer?” IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, Seattle, WA, Oct 2015


Developing countries face an increasing double disease burden of chronic health conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes alongside traditional communicable diseases like tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and malaria. Rural patients often cannot afford to visit established medical centers because of the cost or time associated with travel. Poor education and social stigma prevent patients from seeking medical attention or getting tested for curable illnesses. Access to affordable and accessible tools for screening and diagnosis of common illnesses can greatly reduce the strain on fledgling health care systems. This article provides a proof-of-concept for manufacturing dipstick test strips that can be used for a variety of screening tests including diabetes and urinary tract infections. By repurposing a traditional, piezo inkjet printer with chemically active solutions that match the fluid properties of traditional printer ink, test strips can be printed in a just-in-time manner in low-resource settings.


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