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Posted: June 5, 2007
New methods for manufacturing bioactive paper products
(Nanowerk News) Under VTT's (the Technical Research Center of Finland) direction, new methods are being developed for the economical mass production of bioactive paper products, among others based on printing technology. The goal is to create basic concepts for developing new products, such as filters for indicating environmental allergens or removing them from cars and homes. Other possible applications include test paper slips revealing allergens in swimming or drinking water. Customers may have access to the first simple applications in five years or even earlier.
Bioactive paper is a product that includes functionalities based on the selective reactions of biomolecules, such as enzymes or antibodies. The application possibilities are extremely broad, and include indicators or sensors attached to filters, food product packaging or personal health diagnostics, which all would be cheaper than current products. In printed intelligence applications, the paper's competitiveness lies in the fact that it is biodegradable, which is important in terms of sustainable development.
A research project started this spring in order to gather basic knowledge and create enabling technologies for producing intelligent fibre-based products in a cost-efficient way. The work utilises forest and bioindustrial knowledge, and it creates potential for new products in both industrial areas.
The goal is to use and develop the paper's strength as a material, as well as to create new business for the paper industry and strengthen its current state.
The project led by VTT involves a network of research partners, including Âbo Akademi, HUT and the University of Lapland. It is funded by Tekes, VTT and seven industrial companies. The project will end in the spring of 2009.
The project is one of the key projects of the Center for Printed Intelligence, initiated by VTT in 2006. The center's purpose is to introduce new innovations and market initiatives between the traditional ICT and paper industries by combining IT, electronics and printing technologies. The goal is to promote the commercialisation of products and to create new business aimed at the global markets.