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NGM Demo Case
Innovative Lab-on-a-Cartridge for Detecting SARS-CoV-2, Influenza, and Food Contaminants

Biosensors for Food Safety & Public Health Monitoring

he development of advanced biosensors is crucial for addressing global challenges in food safety and public health. The Microfluidics Innovation Hub (MIH) is at the forefront of this innovation, collaborating with partners to create a versatile lab-on-a-cartridge platform. This technology aims to detect and differentiate pathogens like SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza, as well as contaminants in food, offering a robust solution for monitoring and safeguarding public health.

The lab-on-a-cartridge system developed under the NextGenMicrofluidics (NGM) initiative integrates sophisticated biosensing and microfluidic technologies. It supports the multiplexed detection of various pathogens and contaminants using a modular and scalable approach.

Key Components and Features:

  • Microfluidic Cartridge: A disposable platform designed to process liquid samples with integrated storage, pumping, and heating mechanisms.

  • Sensor Foil: Utilizes a spotted microarray with proteins, nucleic acids, and aptamers for high-throughput, simultaneous detection of multiple targets.

  • Fluorescence and Electrochemical Read-Out: Multiple detection methods, including Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF), ensure high sensitivity and accurate quantification.

  • Self-Powered Fluidic Actuation: Employs disposable micropumps and microvalves to automate fluid movement within the cartridge.

This project addresses significant global challenges by providing a versatile, cost-effective solution for both public health and food safety monitoring.

Specific Goals:

  1. Pathogen Detection: Develop assays capable of detecting and differentiating SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza strains in nasopharyngeal swabs.

  2. Food Safety Monitoring: Implement aptamer-based assays for the detection of contaminants like aflatoxin M1 and antibiotics in milk.

  3. Scalable Production: Transition to high-volume manufacturing techniques such as R2R to produce microfluidic cartridges and sensor foils at scale.

Expected Impact:

  • Enhanced Disease Surveillance: Quick, reliable detection of infectious diseases, contributing to better preparedness and response to future pandemics.

  • Improved Food Safety: On-site testing for contaminants ensures compliance with safety regulations and reduces food waste.

  • Cost Efficiency: Modular design and scalable production reduce costs, making advanced diagnostics accessible to a broader market.

Innovative Lab-on-a-Cartridge

Join us in advancing biosensor technology for public health and food safety! Contact us to learn more about our innovative lab-on-a-cartridge platform and how it can benefit your diagnostic and monitoring needs.

Lab-on-a-cartridge system showcasing its modular components, sensor region, and various detection capabilities.

Develop Multiplex Assays: Create robust assays for detecting multiple pathogens and contaminants within a single cartridge.
Optimize Sensor Functionalization: Use simulation-aided design to enhance the biofunctionalization of sensor surfaces.
Scale Production: Implement roll-to-roll manufacturing techniques for cost-effective production of microfluidic cartridges and sensor foils.


Assay Development: Integrate advanced biochemical and molecular assays for simultaneous detection of multiple targets.
Sensor Design: Utilize TIRF and other read-out methods to achieve high sensitivity and accuracy.
Manufacturing Techniques: Employ R2R UV-NIL and extrusion coating to produce high-quality, scalable microfluidic components.


Multiplex and Quantitative Read-Out: The system must support the simultaneous detection and quantification of multiple analytes.
High Sensitivity and Specificity: Assays should achieve low limits of detection (LoD) and high specificity for targeted pathogens and contaminants.
User-Friendly Operation: The platform should be easy to use by non-experts, with a time-to-result of less than 30 minutes.
Scalable Production: Utilize R2R techniques for the mass production of cartridges and sensor foils to meet high demand.

Collaboration and Expertise

The project leverages the combined expertise of several MIH partners to overcome technical challenges and optimize the development process:

  • GENSPEED Biotech GmbH: Focuses on developing and integrating multiplex assays for pathogen detection onto the lab-on-a-cartridge system.

  • JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH: Specializes in roll-to-roll (R2R) UV nanoimprint lithography for scalable sensor foil production.

  • Inmold A/S: Leads in R2R extrusion coating and microstructuring, crucial for manufacturing the microfluidic components.

  • Scienion AG: Provides precision microspotting technology for the functionalization of sensor surfaces with biomolecules.

  • BiFlow Systems: Develops the modular cartridge and associated detection methods for multiple read-out options.

Partners Involved

Download Slide Deck

Unlock detailed insights into how our innovative lab-on-a-cartridge platform is transforming pathogen and contaminant detection. Download our comprehensive slide deck to discover how we’re enhancing public health and food safety with rapid, multiplexed diagnostics.

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