TEESSIDE University is working with partners across Europe on a project to help create climate-neutral digital solutions for the healthcare sector.

The SusFE project, co-ordinated by Medtronic Ibérica, links nine partners across Europe. Its aim is to develop processes and flexible electronics for the low-cost, high-volume manufacture of medical diagnostic devices.

The partners, which includes Teesside University’s Healthcare Innovation Centre, will create flexible integrated circuits and novel sensors, created using an atmospheric plasma and powered by an environmentally friendly fuel cell power source, to create sustainable wearable diagnostic and monitoring devices for healthcare.

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Professor Zulfiqur Ali, Director of Academic Research and Innovation Partnerships, Teesside University, said: “European nations face increasing healthcare costs with aging populations. There is a need for medical devices to be more sustainable and lower cost.

“Chronic and acute diseases require medical devices that provide reliable and rapid data that provide actionable insights. They should be cost-effective and have low environmental footprint.

“The EU SusFE project aims to develop a sustainable design and production platform for the next generation of wearable and diagnostic devices.

“It will combine novel flexible integrated circuit (FlexIC), printed sensors, compostable paper-based power source with a roll-to-roll manufacturing platform.

“SusFE uses a combination of sustainable materials and processes to create eco-friendly solutions for wound healing monitoring, self-blood sampling and point-of-care devices.”

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The SusFE Consortium has received grant funding of around €3.2m and will run for 36 months in the Horizon Europe programme and will comprise a large industry partner with research intensive SMEs and world leading research and technology organisations (RTOs).

The consortium brings together a global leader for medical devices, businesses with world leading expertise in roll-to-roll processing as well as instrumentation and diagnostic, along with SMEs with expertise in flexible integrated circuits, biofuel cells, atmospheric plasma and blood self-sampling.

Alongside Teesside University, the project partners include Medtronic Iberica, Spain; Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Germany; VTT Technical Research Centre, Finland, Sofradim Production, France; Capitainer, Sweden; BeFC, France; Molecular Plasma Group, Luxembourg; and Pragmatic Semiconductor Limited, Sedgefield.

Find out more: https://susfeproject.eu/