Fabrication of paper based microfluidic devices

K. Govindasamy, S. Potgieter, K. Land, E. Muzenda

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper describes an inexpensive method of fabricating paper based microfluidic devices, a new point of care technology. The method uses a solid ink printer, chromatography paper and a heating source. The printer deposits wax onto the surface of the paper which is then melted to allow the wax to penetrate the depth of the paper. This results in hydrophobic barriers capable of guiding fluid movement through the paper. The paper provides a detailed study of process parameters critical to this fabrication process. It discusses the selection of the optimum line width, melting temperature and melting time required to generate impermeable hydrophobic barriers. It was found that line widths play a predominant role in the development of effective wax barriers, more so than other fabrication parameters. A comparison between the melting effectiveness of a hot plate and an oven is also given. To test barrier effectiveness, square chambers were printed and flooded with coloured dye. It was found that barriers narrower then 300μm do not form impermeable hydrophobic barriers.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the World Congress on Engineering 2012, WCE 2012
EditorsA. M. Korsunsky, Len Gelman, Andrew Hunter, S. I. Ao, David WL Hukins
PublisherNewswood Limited
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9789881925220
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event2012 World Congress on Engineering, WCE 2012 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: Jul 4 2012Jul 6 2012

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Engineering and Computer Science
ISSN (Print)2078-0958


Conference2012 World Congress on Engineering, WCE 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)


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