Duncan Sharp, Senior Lecturer, Leeds Metropolitan University
The ability to rapidly produce cheap electrochemical sensors is of huge benefit in the development of new sensor technologies. The exploitation of pad-printed, carbon-based electrodes for use within smart wound dressings to detect infections, and the other potential uses within healthcare for the detection on infections is discussed. Printing prototype sensors with extremely versatile conductive inks offers a flexible, versatile and easily modified electrode composition. The printable electrode can be modified in such a way that the electrochemical properties may be changed, and functional chemicals / materials may be added prior to printing. pH is a key factor involved in wound-healing, but has attracted wide interest in terms of changes due to bacterial metabolism, one potential detection strategy relies on the effect this has on the oxidation potentials of biologically-safe markers, incorporated within the sensor. The results to-date for the development and optimisation of this technology, focussing on the purine metabolite, uric acid are described. The use of such printable composites may be beneficial for novel fabrication of biosensors, but also as an alternative to biosensors, exploiting further chemical interactions that can be studied at the electrode-sample interface.