Wettability alteration in a functional capillary tube for visual quantitative point of care testing
Capillarity is an extremely common physical–chemical phenomenon related to wettability in nature, which has wide theoretical and practical interest. Herein, we reported a facile sensing device based on capillary force change in a vertical capillary tube. In this height-based capillary sensor (HCS), the inner surface of the capillary tube was modified with a layer of molecules with wetting responsibility based on the well-known simple surface chemistry. With targets in different concentrations, the wettability of the surface modified with responsive molecules would produce different changes. The responsive surfaces would change the capillary force of the vertical capillary tube, and result in different column heights. Like a thermometer, H+ and phenol have been quantified visually based on the height of the liquid inside the capillary tube.