Thermal actuation and confinement of water droplets on paper-based digital microfluidics devices

  • Saeed Atabakhsh
  • Shahin Jafarabadi AshtianiEmail author
Research Paper


In this paper, the thermocapillary actuation is implemented to manipulate and confine the fluid droplets in a paper-based digital microfluidics (PB-DMF) device. The main advantage of using the thermocapillary actuation over the traditional electrowetting-on-dielectric actuation in the DMF devices is its ability to work with lower operating DC voltages. The proposed device is fabricated by the low-cost screen printing method using very low-cost materials. In order to overcome the weak controllability of the device over the droplets, a new thermal confinement technique is proposed which simply embedded in the device electrode pattern. A new thermally actuated valve is also designed to work based on thermocapillary actuation for switching on or off the droplets. The fabricated DMF device and the thermal valve are both combined with a microfluidics paper-based analytical device to form a hybrid paper chip in which the droplets are driven by both channel-based and droplet-based devices. The device operation is tested by using a biochemical glucose colorimetric detection assay.


Digital microfluidics Paper-based microfluidics Thermocapillary actuation Surface tension Screen printing Resistive heater 

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of EngineeringUniversity of TehranTehranIran

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