Folded paper creates portable lab for field laboratory tests

phys.org | 6/26/2019 | Staff
KHALED (Posted by) Level 3
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Monitoring and tracking biological threats or epidemics require the ability to carry out medical and laboratory tests in the field during a disaster or other austere situations. Expensive laboratory equipment is often unavailable in these settings, so inexpensive point-of-care technology is needed.

Ordinary paper is often used in these situations, since it's cheap, portable and widely available. However, paper poses some problems that hinder its usefulness. In this week's issue of Biointerphases investigators from the University of Maine report a technique that greatly improves the performance of paper-based point-of-care technologies.

Paper - Resource - Challenges - Caitlin - Howell

"Paper is a biodegradable resource that can help us address more future challenges than we think," co-author Caitlin Howell said.

In their research, the authors coated low-cost paper with a thin silicone polymer layer infused with a nontoxic silicone liquid and then folded the coated paper into precise geometries, creating vastly improved in-the-field devices for concentrating and testing biological samples. Although folded paper has been used in the past to create low-cost, portable field-testing equipment, it almost always relies on surface tension to move liquid through paper fibers.

Fibers - Diameter - Length - Delivery - Volumes

Because these fibers vary widely in diameter and length, delivery of inconsistent volumes of fluid to the detector...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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