Paper-based sensors and assays: a success of the engineering design and the convergence of knowledge areas
This review shows the recent advances and state of the art in paper-based analytical devices (PADs) through the analysis of their integration with microfluidics and LOC micro- and nanotechnologies, electrochemical/optical detection and electronic devices as the convergence of various knowledge areas. The important role of the paper design/architecture in the improvement of the performance of sensor devices is discussed. The discussion is fundamentally based on μPADs as the new generation of paper-based (bio)sensors. Data about the scientific publication ranking of PADs, illustrating their increase as an experimental research topic in the past years, are supplied. In addition, an analysis of the simultaneous evolution of PADs in academic lab research and industrial commercialization highlighting the parallelism of the technological transfer from academia to industry is displayed. A general overview of the market behaviour, the leading industries in the sector and their commercialized devices is given. Finally, personal opinions of the authors about future perspectives and tendencies in the design and fabrication technology of PADs are disclosed.