SABER PRINT is a cross-border collaboration project funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the province of Limburg, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy and the Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Innovation and Digitalisierung und Energie des Landes NRW. The project is aimed at investigating the potential impact of smart (bio)-sensors on the process industry of the future.
Digitalization of manufacturing processes, commonly known as Industry 4.0, will shape the industry of the future. Constant monitoring of industrial processes by “Smart” machines will lead to a more efficient and sustainable production process. SABER PRINT is a public-private cooperation between the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, the project leader, Maastricht University and two industrial actors, Garlock GmBH and Yookr B.V. Within SABER PRINT the consortium will investigate the potential role of smart biosensors in the process of shaping the process industry of tomorrow. Smart sensors will be developed with the aim of integrating them into existing industrial processes, monitoring various crucial chemical parameters and communicating with other machines in the production line to adjust the industrial process based on changes in the observed parameters.
The central innovation that will be developed within SABER PRINT is a prototype sensor for monitoring industrial processes and communicating with other devices through an IoT web application (Yookr B.V.). The sensor design will consist of a flexible sensor sticker that can be directly integrated into e.g. gaskets (Garlock GmBH) in order to allow for online monitoring of industrial processes. This sticker will be coupled to an electrochemical read-out platform developed by RUB and validated in a laboratory environment. The Sensor Engineering Department will produce synthetic receptors for the desired analytes that will be integrated into the sticker-based electrodes in order to make the sensor selective for its target. The resulting prototype will allow users to monitor the concentration of analytes (e.g. glucose) in industrial processes in real-time, allowing for a more stringent control of the production process. This will reduce installation and maintenance costs and improve overall productivity in the process industry.
Ruhr University Bochum is one of the largest research universities in Germany. Together with the University of Duisburg-Essen and the TU Dortmund it forms the University Alliance Ruhr with 14 research centers. One of the flagship programs is the Cluster of Excellence RESOLV which advances Solvation Science as a new interdisciplinary field to understand the influence of solvation on reactions, on the function of biomolecules, and on processes at liquid/solid interfaces. The research groups molecular nanostructures (MN) and electrochemistry & nanoscale materials (NanoEC) are both participating in the RESOLV flagship program.
Within SABER PRINT, both groups will develop sensing elements that will detect analytes as part of the smart sensors. MN will focus on hydrogel supported biosensors that are very specific for the analyte and well suited for applications in aqueous media. NanoEC will develop sensing elements based on functionalized nanoparticles that are well suited for applications in organic solvents and extreme temperatures. This contributions to SABER PRINT will go hand in hand with the sensing elements developed by Maastricht University.
Garlock, part of the EnPro Industries Inc. group of companies, is one of the leading international companies in the field of sealing technology and is regarded as a specialist for sealing critical and demanding media in innovative mechanical and plant engineering. More than 1,500 employees work for the company globally. Further Garlock is represented by sales partners and specialist dealers in over 90 countries worldwide. With an integrated range of services, Garlock supports a wide variety of industries. In addition to standard seals, Garlock primarily develops and produces special solutions for customer-specific applications.
As one of the largest regional knowledge institutions, Maastricht University has acquired extensive expertise in cross-border cooperation. Within UM, the project is carried out by the Sensor Engineering Department (SE) headed by Professor Thomas Cleij and Doctor Bart van Grinsven. SE was founded in 2019 and currently coordinates several NWO, Kennis-as and Interreg V projects that focus on the development of biosensor applications for molecular diagnostics and food safety. Within SABER PRINT, the group will focus its expertise on the development of synthetic receptors for e.g. glucose. SE will collaborate with RUBochum and Yookr (software) to use these receptors in biosensors that can be integrated in gaskets developed by Garlock for monitoring industrial processes inline.
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