Patterned paper and alternative materials as substrates for low-cost microfluidic diagnostics
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- Ballerini, D.R., Li, X. & Shen, W. Microfluid Nanofluid (2012) 13: 769. doi:10.1007/s10404-012-0999-2
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In recent years a strong need has been realised for the creation of low-cost diagnostics for use in impoverished regions of the world. The use of paper has been championed for this purpose by many research groups globally over the past 5 years, leading to the formation of a large body of knowledge. This work reviews and summarises the many techniques developed to date for the patterning of paper substrates to create channels for the flow of liquids. The work also explores methods for increasing the functionality of paper-based microfluidics, the detection mechanisms employed so far and some of the interesting applications addressed. The review will also investigate the recent use of some alternative materials—both as primary substrates and in hybrids—which will become progressively more important in the future.