Paper-Based Microfluidics: Fabrication Technique and Dynamics of Capillary-Driven Surface Flow

Joel Songok, Mikko Tuominen, Hannu Teisala, Janne Haapanen, Jyrki Mäkelä, Jurkka Kuusipalo, Martti Toivakka

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    106 Citations (Scopus)


    Paper-based devices provide an alternative technology for simple, low-cost, portable, and disposable diagnostic tools for many applications, including clinical diagnosis, food quality control, and environmental monitoring. In this study we report a two-step fabrication process for creating two-dimensional microfluidic channels to move liquids on a hydrophobized paper surface. A highly hydrophobic surface was created on paper by TiO2 nanoparticle coating using a high-speed, roll-to-roll liquid flame spray technique. The hydrophilic pattern was then generated by UV irradiation through a photomask utilizing the photocatalytic property of TiO2. The flow dynamics of five model liquids with differing surface tensions 48–72 mN·m–1 and viscosities 1–15 mN·m–2 was studied. The results show that the liquid front (l) in a channel advances in time (t) according to the power law l = Zt0.5 (Z is an empirical constant which depend on the liquid properties and channel dimensions). The flow dynamics of the liquids with low viscosity show a dependence on the channel width and the droplet volume, while the flow of liquids with high viscosity is mainly controlled by the viscous forces.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)20060–20066
    JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
    Issue number22
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Paper-based Microfluidics
    • Capillary Surface Flow

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