Researchers develop new paper-based portable lab

A team of University of Rhode Island engineers led by Professor Mohammad Faghri has created a new paper-based platform for conducting a wide range of complex medical diagnostics. 

The key development was the invention of fluid actuated valves embedded in the paper that allow for sequential manipulation of sample fluids and multiple reagents in a controlled manner to perform complex multi-step immune-detection tests without human intervention.

Paper-based test strips already exist and are used for pregnancy tests, but to produce more complex diagnostics, it is necessary that multiple reagents are triggered at specific times.

The architecture of the mini-lab is an essential feature. Multiple layers of paper printed with wax create a three-dimensional structure of valves and channels where fluid travels. This way they can trigger the reagents at the right time to produce a diagnosis. And unlike the team's lab-on-a-chip device, no external force of a mechanical, electric or magnetic nature is required to move the fluid through the channels, as this is achieved through wicking.

Click here for source (The University of Rhode Island)

Photo: The University of Rhode Island