Superhydrophobic paper substrates were patterned with high surface energy black ink using commercially available desktop printing technology. The shape and size of the ink islands were designed to control the adhesion forces on water drops in two directions, parallel (‘drag-adhesion’) and perpendicular (‘extensional-adhesion’) to the substrate. Experimental data on the adhesion forces shows good agreement with classical models for ‘drag’ (Furmidge equation) and ‘extensional’ adhesion (modified Dupré equation). The tunability of the two adhesion forces was used to implement four basic unit operations for the manipulation of liquid drops on the paper substrates: storage, transfer, mixing and sampling. By combining these basic functionalities it is possible to design simple two-dimensional lab-on-paper (LOP) devices. In our 2D LOP prototype, liquid droplets adhere to the porous substrate, rather than absorbing into the paper; as a result, liquid droplets remain accessible for further quantitative testing and analysis, after performing simple qualitative on-chip testing. In addition, the use of commercially available desktop printers and word processing software to generate ink patterns enable end users to design LOP devices for specific applications.
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