Rapid prototyping of a novel and flexible paper based oxygen sensing patch via additive inkjet printing process†
A novel and flexible oxygen sensing patch was successfully developed for wearable, industrial, food packaging, pharmaceutical and biomedical applications using a cost-efficient and rapid prototypable additive inkjet print manufacturing process. An oxygen sensitive ink was formulated by dissolving ruthenium dye and ethyl cellulose polymer in ethanol in a 1 : 1 : 98 (w/w/w) ratio. The patch was fabricated by depositing the oxygen sensitive ink on a flexible parchment paper substrate using an inkjet printing process. A maximum absorbance from 430 nm to 480 nm and a fluorescence of 600 nm was observed for the oxygen sensitive ink. The capability of the oxygen sensitive patch was investigated by measuring the fluorescence quenching lifetime of the printed dye for varying oxygen concentration levels. A fluorescence lifetime decay (τ) from ≈4 μs to ≈1.9 μs was calculated for the printed oxygen sensor patch, for oxygen concentrations varying from ≈5 mg L−1 to ≈25 mg L−1. A sensitivity of 0.11 μs mg L−1 and a correlation coefficient of 0.9315 was measured for the printed patches. The results demonstrated the feasibility of employing an inkjet printing process for the rapid prototyping of flexible and moisture resistant oxygen sensitive patches which facilitates a non-invasive method for monitoring oxygen and its concentration levels.