Partnering opportunity

Rapid diagnostic tests made of paper and nanoparticles with smartphone readouts are offered for licensing or technical cooperation agreement


A Spanish research team specialized in biosensors has developed a technology for producing paper-based immunosensors that can be tailored to detect a wide range of target molecules and pathogens using a smartphone as an optical reader. It allows the integration of all the reagents required for the detection in a single piece of filter paper. Companies willing to implement the technology through a license agreement or R&D institutions providing technical cooperation are being sought.

Partner sought

Type: industrial partners for developing and commercializing products based on the technology and R&D institutions for developing customised immunosensors. Field of activity: the research team is looking for companies and/or R&D institutions in the health care sector, willing to develop point-of-care (POC) diagnostic devices based on paper, suitable for preliminary or emergency medical screening and for use in medical facilities with limited resources. A potential partner could be interested, especially, in the detection of bacteria in urine or protein biomarkers in serum or blood. Role of partner: License agreement - to commercialize products based on the patented technology worldwide. Technical cooperation agreement – to provide technical support for developing specific immunosensors that could be designed, due to the wide range of analytes that can be detected.


The performance of lateral flow immunosensors is restricted by their rigid 2D design. 3D Paper-based analytical devices can overcome this problem and enable new features such as the detection of many target molecules simultaneously or the reduction of manufacturing costs. However, it is difficult to store reagents such as nanoparticles in devices made solely of paper. A research team from a Spanish health institution specialized in biosensors for molecular diagnostics has patented a technology that solves this problem. Their immunosensors contain reservoirs for storing antibody-decorated nanoparticles in the same filter paper. Folding the paper allows the easy transfer of reagents to different parts of the test without using pumps or syringes. The specific capture of the target molecule or pathogen generates colored spots thanks to the excellent optical properties of gold nanoparticles. The colored spots can be detected with companion of apps for android, also developed by the research team. The apps only require hovering a smartphone over the assay to quantify the color in real time. Prototypes for the detection of the cytokine IL-6 at clinically relevant concentrations in blood and in less than 17 minutes have been demonstrated. Disposable tests for detecting urine infections by E. coli in less than 7 minutes have also been developed. The Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) developed are easily adaptable to other targets by tuning biosensor design. Companies interested in the development of novel point-of-care diagnostic devices who wish to commercialize the technology via license agreement, or R&D institutions providing technical cooperation for the development of specific immunosensors are being sought.

Advantages and innovations

The paper biosensors are light, compact and disposable and can be used to detect analytes in complex matrices such as blood or urine. Cheaper. Biosensors made from a single piece of conventional paper reduce manufacturing costs compared to current lateral flow immunoassays, which are made of multiple materials. Versatile design. The design is compatible with 3D microfluidic schemes on folded paper, which are more versatile than 2D lateral flow tests. High throughput. Easy fabrication of sensor arrays with limitless sensing points in the same paper device. Long shelf life. Gold nanoparticles in paper reservoirs create intense signals without the strict storage requirements of enzymes (no noticeable loss of activity after 1 month stored at room temperature with the patented method for paper-based nanoparticle reservoirs). Fast and sensitive. Pieces of filter paper incorporating antibody-modified nanoparticles have been used to detect bacteria (E. coli) in urine at concentrations above the clinical infectious threshold with an assay time under 7 minutes. Interleukin 6 (IL-6) has been detected with an ultralow limit of detection of 0.1 pg mL-1 with a 17 minutes long procedure thanks to the proposed paper-based biosensor technology. Modular. The biosensor design is easily adaptable to customer and end-users needs.

Development stage

Prototype available for demonstration

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

Patent(s) applied for but not yet granted,Copyright

Register your interest

How it works

  • Tell us about yourself
  • We’ll discuss with you
  • We put the right partners in touch

EEN help you find the right partner, rather than you going it alone.

Our role is to review and collate the most suitable submissions, and then send them to the client who posted the opportunity. We consult with you, and the client, to make the process professional and easy.

These are live opportunities. Your registration of interest on the site is just like a professional approach to a business at a networking event. To stand the best chance of success, make your submission really sing. Sell why the client who posted the opportunity should work with you. Excite them. Ask questions. Try and avoid copy and pasting words from elsewhere.

Once the client has chosen their partner, we'll introduce them over email and keep in touch with both parties to see how it's going. Sometimes things progress quickly. Sometimes because of changing priorities for either party, things progress slowly, but you never know - your next big business break could start right here.

?What value does EEN add?
This is your pitch: remember to include your unique selling points (USP) and why someone would want to do business with you
Tell us why you are a good fit for this opportunity, and why you think you're the right people for this partnership
If there's anything additional, or commercially sensitive you'd like to know about this opportunity, please let us know

When you entered your email address above, we emailed you a code to verify you're human and have access to that account.

?What's this?

What next?

To finish up, we just need some extra details about you and your company