Fuelium is developing and marketing single-use batteries for diagnostic devices. Their technology makes it possible to manufacture batteries with the same processes used in lateral flow tests (such as pregnancy tests). The battery is activated when its paper core gets wet. With a diagnostic device, this can be triggered by the sample being analyzed. Neus Sabaté, co-founder and scientific advisor of Fuelium, shares her history and short-term goals.
My main motivation lies in giving back to the industrial fabric in the country through the financial return on my research. I think it is essential for applied research to get out of the laboratory and be used to set up new companies and, therefore, create qualified jobs.
My first instinct when I founded Fuelium with my partners was to stop researching and throw myself completely into the business adventure. In the end, I decided to do both, with the resulting stress and exhaustion of starting up a spin-off while working as a group leader at the IMB. Now, I’m happy I did this because I can see that, by continuing with the research, I can come up with new devices that may lead to even more business opportunities.
More than advice, I always try to remember one saying: success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.
My research group has developed a patch that can measure sweat conductivity using a smart paper battery. We’ve found two possible applications (measuring dehydration and screening for cystic fibrosis) and I’m excited to see them progress to market.