Microfluidic paper-based analytical devices (microPADs) are emerging as simple-to-use, low-cost point-of-care testing platforms. Such devices are mostly fabricated at present by creating hydrophobic barriers using wax or photoresist patterning on porous paper sheets. Even though devices fabricated using these methods are used and tested with a wide variety of analytes, still they pose many serious practical limitations for low-cost automated mass fabrication for their widespread applicability. We present an affordable and simple two-step process - cut and heat (CH-microPADs) - for the selective fabrication of hydrophilic channels and reservoirs on a wide variety of porous media such as tissue/printing/filter paper and cloth types, such as cotton and polyester, by a lamination process. The technique presents many advantages as compared to existing commonly used methods. The devices possess excellent mechanical strength against bending, folding and twisting, making them virtually unbreakable. They are structurally flexible and show good chemical resistance to various solvents, acids and bases, presenting widespread applicability in areas such as clinical diagnostics, biological sensing applications, food processing, and the chemical industry. Fabricated paper media 96 well-plate CH-microPAD configurations were tested for cell culture applications using mice embryonic fibroblasts and detection of proteins and enzymes using ELISA. With a simple two-step process and minimal human intervention, the technique presents a promising step towards mass fabrication of inexpensive disposable diagnostic devices for both resource-limited and developed regions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering