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Bottom-Up Fabrication of Paper-Based Microchips by Blade Coating of Cellulose Microfibers on a Patterned Surface

Gao, Bingbing, Liu, Hong, Gu, Zhongze
Langmuir 2014 v.30 no.50 pp. 15041-15046
aqueous solutions, capillarity, cellulose, coatings, colorimetry, evaporation, glucose, hydrophilicity, paper, polypropylenes, protein content
We report a method for the bottom-up fabrication of paper-based capillary microchips by the blade coating of cellulose microfibers on a patterned surface. The fabrication process is similar to the paper-making process in which an aqueous suspension of cellulose microfibers is used as the starting material and is blade-coated onto a polypropylene substrate patterned using an inkjet printer. After water evaporation, the cellulose microfibers form a porous, hydrophilic, paperlike pattern that wicks aqueous solution by capillary action. This method enables simple, fast, inexpensive fabrication of paper-based capillary channels with both width and height down to about 10 μm. When this method is used, the capillary microfluidic chip for the colorimetric detection of glucose and total protein is fabricated, and the assay requires only 0.30 μL of sample, which is 240 times smaller than for paper devices fabricated using photolithography.