Lab Chip 2012 Sep 27;12(18):3281-4. Epub 2012 Jul 27.
Biomedical Diagnostics Institute, National Centre for Sensor Research, School of Physical Sciences, Dublin City University, Ireland.
We present a novel, low-resource fabrication and assembly method for creating disposable amperometric detectors in hybrid paper-polymer devices. Currently, mere paper-based microfluidics is far from being able to achieve the same level of process control and integration as state-of-the-art microfluidic devices made of polymers. To overcome this limitation, in this work both substrate types are synergistically combined through a hybrid, multi-component/multi-material system assembly. Using established inkjet wax printing, we transform the paper into a profoundly hydrophobic substrate in order to create carbon electrodes which are simply patterned from carbon inks via custom made adhesive stencils. By virtue of the compressibility of the paper substrate, the resulting electrode-on-paper hybrids can be directly embedded in conventional, 3D polymeric devices by bonding through an adhesive layer. This manufacturing scheme can be easily recreated with readily available off-the-shelf equipment, and is extremely cost-efficient and rapid with turn-around times of only a few hours.