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Issue 59, 2018
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The potential of paper-based diagnostics to meet the ASSURED criteria

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Paper-based diagnostics have already revolutionized point-of-care approaches for health and environmental applications, by providing low-cost, disposable tools that can be utilized in remote settings. These devices typically consist of microfluidic, chemical, and biological diagnostic components implemented on paper substrates, towards addressing the ASSURED (Affordable, Sensitive, Specific, User friendly, Rapid and Robust, Equipment free and Deliverable to end users) principles set out by the World Health Organization. Paper-based diagnostics primarily contribute to the affordable, equipment-free, and deliverable-to-end-user aspects. However, additional functionality must be integrated with paper-based diagnostic devices to achieve truly ASSURED solutions. Advances in printed electronics provide a fitting foundation for implementing augmented functionality, while maintaining the affordability and disposability of paper-based diagnostics. This paper reviews the printed functional building blocks that contribute towards achieving this goal, from individual printed electronic components to fully integrated solutions. Important modules for sensing, read-out of results, data processing and communication, and on-board power are explored, and solutions printed on flexible or paper-based substrates for integration with paper-based diagnostics are considered. Although many of the unit operations required to achieve the ASSURED criteria can be implemented using paper, basic system functionality is still lacking, and this requires a concerted effort in integration of the various components for truly ASSURED solutions to be realized. Beyond ASSURED, modern clinical practises and crisis readiness also require additional informational functionality, which a systems approach using paper-based solutions could ensure.

Graphical abstract: The potential of paper-based diagnostics to meet the ASSURED criteria

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Publication details

The article was received on 19 Jul 2018, accepted on 27 Sep 2018 and first published on 03 Oct 2018

Article type: Review Article
DOI: 10.1039/C8RA06132G
Citation: RSC Adv., 2018,8, 34012-34034
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
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    The potential of paper-based diagnostics to meet the ASSURED criteria

    S. Smith, J. G. Korvink, D. Mager and K. Land, RSC Adv., 2018, 8, 34012
    DOI: 10.1039/C8RA06132G

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