Fabrication of paper microfluidic devices using a toner laser printer†
This paper describes a method to fabricate microfluidic paper-based analytical devices (μPADs) using a toner laser printer. Multiple methods have been reported for the fabrication of μPADs for point-of-care diagnostics and environmental monitoring. Despite successful demonstrations, however, existing fabrication methods depend on particular printers, in-house instruments, and synthetic materials. In particular, recent discontinuation of the solid wax printer has made it difficult to fabricate μPADs with readily available instruments. Herein we reported the fabrication of μPADs using the most widely available type of printer: a toner laser printer. Heating of printed toner at 200 °C allowed the printed toner to reflow, and the spreading of the hydrophobic polymer through the filter paper was characterized. Using the developed μPADs, we conducted model colorimetric assays for glucose and bovine serum albumin (BSA). We found that heating of filter paper at 200 °C for 60 min caused the pyrolysis of cellulose in the paper. The pyrolysis resulted in the formation of aldehydes that could interfere with molecular assays involving redox reactions. To overcome this problem, we confirmed that the removal of the aldehyde could be readily achieved by washing the μPADs with aqueous bleach. Overall, the developed fabrication method should be compatible with most toner laser printers and will make μPADs accessible in resource-limited circumstances.