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Paper Microzone Plates

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journal contribution
posted on 01.08.2009, 00:00 by Emanuel Carrilho, Scott T. Phillips, Sarah J. Vella, Andres W. Martinez, George M. Whitesides
This paper describes 96- and 384-microzone plates fabricated in paper as alternatives to conventional multiwell plates fabricated in molded polymers. Paper-based plates are functionally related to plastic well plates, but they offer new capabilities. For example, paper-microzone plates are thin (∼180 μm), require small volumes of sample (5 μL per zone), and can be manufactured from inexpensive materials ($0.05 per plate). The paper-based plates are fabricated by patterning sheets of paper, using photolithography, into hydrophilic zones surrounded by hydrophobic polymeric barriers. This photolithography used an inexpensive formulation photoresist that allows rapid (∼15 min) prototyping of paper-based plates. These plates are compatible with conventional microplate readers for quantitative absorbance and fluorescence measurements. The limit of detection per zone loaded for fluorescence was 125 fmol for fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled bovine serum albumin, and this level corresponds to 0.02 the quantity of analyte per well used to achieve comparable signal-to-noise in a 96-well plastic plate (using a solution of 25 nM labeled protein). The limits of detection for absorbance on paper was aproximately 50 pmol per zone for both Coomassie Brilliant Blue and Amaranth dyes; these values were 0.4 that required for the plastic plate. Demonstration of quantitative colorimetric correlations using a scanner or camera to image the zones and to measure the intensity of color, makes it possible to conduct assays without a microplate reader.