Overcoming scalability obstacles in the production of medical self-tests with Bondus

Medical self-tests have become indispensable in recent years. How are these products manufactured? The process is not without challenges. Companies are often very good at detecting diseases but tend to struggle with the production process of these tests. “This is where we come in”, says Bondus founder Bas-Jan Hoogenberg.

Both Bas-Jan and his co-founder Sven Eijpe had experience in manufacturing medical products before starting Bondus. “The process is very demanding. You can only work with safe materials that don’t interfere with the test. In addition, a medical self-test must be leak-proof: the test fluid must not escape from the product, to ensure proper functioning, which makes it difficult to mass-produce medical self-tests.”


The Bondus solution? As the name suggests, it’s a new way of bonding materials. “We have developed a process to connect materials on a very small scale. You essentially glue plastics together. Between these plastic layers there is a network of channels through which fluids, such as blood, can flow.”

According to Bas-Jan, the Bondus technology is best compared to a circuit board. “On a circuit board there are copper tracks that conduct electricity through the chip. We don’t work with copper tracks, but with fluid channels. Our technology makes everything possible: mixing fluids or having them flow past a sensor to extract data.”

Faster to market

Bondus’ technology has a significant advantage: it enables customers to get to market faster. “Medical companies are mainly focused on their core technology: detecting disease. This is, of course, a crucial part of a test! But if you don’t consider production, you won’t be scalable. And no company is happy with insufficient production capacity.”

Bondus steps in with the processes that follow the disease detection part. “With technology and advice. How do you make the right choices in your design process to ensure that you can produce millions of tests later?”

Niche market

The world of medical self-testing is a niche market, and a difficult one to win over. “You would expect our customers to want to make as few changes as possible, because they are already using reliable methods. In general, it is difficult to get the medical industry to innovate. That’s why I’m so surprised at how open our customers are to new technologies. At the end of the day, it makes sense: people in this part of the market are working on a new generation of products. They are used to trying new things, and Bondus’ technology is part of that.”

Start-up phase

Bondus was founded in 2020. “Back then, it was all about tinkering and experimenting with materials. Later, we moved to ZWINC, the start-up incubator in Zwolle. You can tell when your company is getting to a more serious point, and that’s when we decided to work on Bonus full-time. It was an exciting step, but ultimately the right one: suddenly your mind is free to concentrate on your business.”

Now it’s time for Bondus to grow. “The first thing on the agenda is to expand our team. You simply achieve more with a larger group of people. And that’s what we need. Of course, that requires money, so we went looking for investors. This search led us to the Business Angels Network Nijmegen (BANN) and Briskr.”

In the run-up to BANN, Bas-Jan attended a pitch training. “It helped a lot, because it makes you focus on what you do as a company. It also helped us with the valuation of our company. That’s how we made our plans for next year.” This ties in with a big dream for Bondus. “When you buy a laptop, it almost always has an Intel Inside sticker. That’s what we want. When you buy a medical self-test, we want it to say ‘Bondus Inside’. That’s our goal!”