Advertisement

Printed Paper–Based Electrochemical Sensors for Low-Cost Point-of-Need Applications

  • Suzanne SmithEmail author
  • Phophi Madzivhandila
  • Letta Ntuli
  • Petrone Bezuidenhout
  • Haitao ZhengEmail author
  • Kevin Land
Original Research
  • 5 Downloads

Abstract

Paper-based microfluidics is a rapidly developing field with applications for point-of-care disease and environmental diagnostics. In parallel, printed electronics has grown swiftly, particularly for wearable technologies. By combining these fields, fluidic sample processing and control, as well as automated sensing and readout can be integrated on a single device. Towards this goal, this work highlights the design, manufacture, and testing of paper-based electrochemical sensors, with focus on photo paper and chromatography paper substrates. These substrates are typically used for printed electronics and paper-based fluidics, respectively. The electrochemical sensors were screen printed using manual techniques. For chromatography paper sensors, wax-printed fluidic barriers were used to illustrate the potential integration of the sensors with typical paper-based microfluidic device formats. As an initial example, the detection of heavy metals (Cd(II) and Pb(II)) in buffer solution was demonstrated. Commercial DropSens sensors were used as reference with the limit of detection (LOD) of Cd(II) and Pb(II) on chromatography sensors showing comparable results to commercial DropSens sensors. It is worth noting that the chromatography paper sensors showed a higher repeatability than the commercial DropSens sensors. Tap water samples spiked with Cd(II) and Pb(II) were also tested and showed promising results. Future work will include sensor optimization and exploration of scale-up to provide low-cost solutions for effective point-of-need diagnostics—ranging from environmental monitoring to healthcare applications.

Graphical Abstract

Keywords

Paper-based sensors Printed sensors Screen printing Electrochemistry Low-cost Point-of-need 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors thank Adelaide Oberholzer for assistance with manufacturing of paper-based electrochemical sensors.

Funding Information

This work was funded by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria, South Africa.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

References

  1. 1.
    J. Hu, S. Wang, L. Wang, F. Li, B. Pingguan-Murphy, T.J. Lu, F. Xu, Advances in paper-based point-of-care diagnostics. Biosens. Bioelectron. 54, 585–597 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    A.W. Martinez, S.T. Phillips, G.M. Whitesides, E. Carrilho, Diagnostics for the developing world: Microfluidic paper-based analytical devices. Anal. Chem. 82(1), 3–10 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    S. Byrnes, G. Thiessen, E. Fu, Progress in the development of paper-based diagnostics for low-resource point-of-care settings. Bioanalysis 5(22), 2821–2836 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    A.K. Yetisen, M.S. Akram, C.R. Low, Paper-based microfluidic point-of-care diagnostic devices. Lab Chip 13(12), 2210–2251 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    A.P.F. Turner, Biosensors: Sense and sensibility. Chem. Soc. Rev. 42(8), 3184–3196 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    DropSens (2017). http://www.dropsens.com. Accessed 11 April 2017
  7. 7.
    T.-H. Joubert, P.H. Bezuidenhout, H. Chen, S. Smith, K.J. Land, Inkjet-printed silver tracks on different paper substrates. Mater. Today 2(7), 3891–3900 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    S. Smith, K. Moodley, K. Land, “Plug-and-play paper-based toolkit for rapid prototyping of microfluidics and electronics towards point-of-care diagnostic solutions,” Proc. RAPDASA 2015 conference (2015)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    S. Smith, K. Moodley, U. Govender, H. Chen, L. Fourie, S. Ngwenya, S. Kumar, P. Mjwana, H. Cele, M.B. Mbanjwa, S. Potgieter, T. Joubert, K. Land, Paper-based smart microfluidics for education and low cost diagnostics. S. Afr. J. Sci. 111, 11/12 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Z. Nie, C.A. Nijhuis, J. Gong, X. Chen, A. Kumachev, A.W. Martinez, M. Narovlyansky, G.M. Whitesides, Electrochemical sensing in paper-based microfluidic devices. Lab Chip 10(4), 477–483 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    M. Medina-Sánchez, M. Cadevall, J. Ros, A. Merkoçi, Eco-friendly electrochemical lab-on-paper for heavy metal detection. Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 407(28), 8445–8449 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    P. Bezuidenhout, S. Smith, T.-H. Joubert, A low-cost inkjet-printed paper-based potentiostat. MDPI Applied Sciences 8(968), 1–12 (2018)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Metrohm. (2018) Metrohm DropSens: Frequently asked questions. [Online]. http://www.dropsens.com/en/faqs_dropsens.html
  14. 14.
    V. Mazzaracchio, I. Cacciotti, D. Moscone, F. Arduini S. Cinti, "Carbon black-modified electrodes screen-printed onto paper towel, waxed paper, and Parafilm M®," MDPI- Sensors , 17(2267), 1–12 (2017)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Materials Science and ManufacturingCouncil for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)PretoriaSouth Africa
  2. 2.Energy CentreCouncil for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)PretoriaSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations