Paper biosensors: towards eco-friendly diagnosis

Many of our daily products are made from pollutant materials, which have proven to be extremely difficult to recycle. Recently, there have been a number of high profile campaigns to raise awareness about the global plastic waste crisis. Specifically to raise awareness of single-use plastics (microbeads, packaging, bags, disposable products etc.), which make up approximately 40% of the now more than 448 million tons of plastic produced every year. In an effort to do their bit to help, some biotechnological companies within the healthcare sector have focused their efforts on the search for alternative materials to fabricate diagnostics products. Paper has emerged as a possibility, but is it actually a real option for the market?

Hazardous chemicals crossing borders

Anyone who has stood in line to have their bags, boots and body checked before getting on an aeroplane will know that international borders are well protected. After all, that young mother with her squealing baby could so easily be carrying more than the requisite quantity of fluid in a plastic bottle in her hand luggage. The old gentleman with the walking frame? Who’s to say he hasn’t packed it with old-school sticks of dynamite ready to hijack an autumnal tourist flight packed with mini-breakers. That surly teenager’s personal music player with its incessant “tss, tss, tss” and fragile glass touch screen? It could so easily be converted into a lethal weapon with a sharp blow to the arm of the aircraft seat releasing a shard of sharp glass with which to threaten the crew while they point to the exits and mime putting on an oxygen mask in case of the aircraft losing cabin pressure…