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Continuous-Ink, Multiplexed Pen-Plotter Approach for Low-Cost, High-Throughput Fabrication of Paper-Based Microfluidics

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posted on 08.06.2017, 19:42 authored by Reza Amin, Fariba Ghaderinezhad, Lu Li, Eric Lepowsky, Bekir Yenilmez, Stephanie Knowlton, Savas Tasoglu
There is an unmet need for high-throughput fabrication techniques for paper-based microanalytical devices, especially in limited resource areas. Fabrication of these devices requires precise and repeatable deposition of hydrophobic materials in a defined pattern to delineate the hydrophilic reaction zones. In this study, we demonstrated a cost- and time-effective method for high-throughput, easily accessible fabrication of paper-based microfluidics using a desktop pen plotter integrated with a custom-designed multipen holder. This approach enabled simultaneous printing with multiple printing heads and, thus, multiplexed fabrication. Moreover, we proposed an ink supply system connected to commercial technical pens to allow continuous flow of the ink, thereby increasing the printing capacity of the system. We tested the use of either hot- or cold-laminating layers to improve (i) the durability, stability, and mechanical strength of the paper-based devices and (ii) the seal on the back face of the chromatography paper to prevent wetting of the sample beyond the hydrophilic testing region. To demonstrate a potential application of the paper-based microfluidic devices fabricated by the proposed method, colorimetric urine assays were implemented and tested: nitrite, urobilinogen, protein, blood, and pH.

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