Technology Offer

Technology Offer: 3D-Printed Passive Flow Assay

Complex Diagnostics made Easy and Low-Cost

The Challenge


Good diagnostics save lives. According to the WHO, diagnostics in developing countries should be A.S.S.U.R.E.D., i.e., Affordable, Sensitive, Specific, User-friendly, Rapid and Robust, Equipment-free, and Deliverable to end-users. Active microfluidics, such as lab-on-chip systems enable the performance of complex analysis but require a ‘driving’ system and auxiliary equipment. Passive microfluidic diagnostics, like Lateral Flow Assays, are simple in use and require no energy. They are not able to perform complex liquid handling steps required for many analysis protocols.

Early-detection of diseases is vital to saving lives.




3D-Printed Passive Flow Assay

The 3D-Flow Assay is made up of a porous body with precise spatial control over the internal surface chemistry. This novel concept is used to create 3D capillary flow channels and install mechanisms for chemical amplification and readout. The assay is entirely passive and enables complex and multiple testing as is demonstrated for the immunoglobin E (IgE) ELISA test. 


State-of-the-art point-of-care diagnostics require complex periphery.


The Basic Manufacturing Process in 3 steps



Step 1: Convert lab protocol(s) into a CAD-model of a 3D-assay

Step 2: Print the 3D-assay based on a porous medium and functional inks.

Step 3: Test the 3D-assay. If needed, optimize the CAD-model and re-print.





Advantages of the technology

  • Low cost and scalable manufacturing process

  • Equipment-free evaluation is possible for positive/negative diagnosis.

  • Independent of user expertise – no training required.

  • Disposable

  • Complexity is not limiting – one technology and process for all wicking structures

  • with fluidic control elements

  • Passive – self-driven by capillarity

  • Scalable

  • Fast development iteration





Technology Offer

Pat n° WO2018162476

We are looking for a partner(s) with expertise in the development and sales of medical diagnostics and a strategic interest to develop complex assays either by collaboration or by patent/technology transfer.  



The Ameloot Group

​KU Leuven
Centre for Membrane Separations, Adsorption, Catalysis, and Spectroscopy for Sustainable Solutions ​(cMACS)
Leuven Chem&Tech
Celestijnenlaan 200F – box 2454
3001 Leuven, Belgium
Contact: Dr. Bart van Duffel (Innovation Manager)
Phone: +32 16 19 43 85



KU Leuven
Willem De Croylaan 42
3001 Leuven, Belgium
Contact: Prof. Jeroen Lammertyn




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