RFID devices use radio waves to identify physical objects through solid surfaces, and a typical setup includes a tag, reader device and some software. Traditionally, RFID tags have been categorized as either passive, active, or semi-active depending on their power source, but 3D printing has brought fresh approaches to sensor production. To create their novel device, the scientists procured a standard passive RFID tag and modified it, so that it only used its chip and resonant circuit. In future, the scientists believe that the tailorable nature of their device could allow bespoke tags to be developed, that address the specific needs of their target application. 3D printing enables the production of parts with integrated microfluidic channels, and researchers are increasingly using this technology to create ‘lab-on-a-chip devices’ with biosensing capabilities. The researchers’ findings are detailed in their paper titled “Design of a 3D-printable UHF RFID hybrid liquid antenna for biosensing applications.” The study was co-authored by Metin Pekgor, Mostafa Nikzad, Reza Arablouei and Syed Masood. Featured image shows the Swinburne team’s 3D printed hybrid RFID tag.

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