Microfluidic Valve Technology

Fluid control is critical in the design and proper performance of microfluidic systems to perform complex multistep assays. In our lab, we have extensively researched available valving systems and have developed new strategies to manipulate fluid flow in paper-based devices. We have received three patents on our Paper Based Microfluidic Valve (PBMV) technology. We are currently characterizing the paper-based bi-material cantilever (B-MaC) actuator to be used as a valve.

Composite Material

Integration of different material is critical for the successful operation of paper-based sensors. We developed a new composite material called Zinculose that is made up of cellulose fibers with embedded zinc microparticles. This material retained capillarity, which is the property of cellulose fibrous materials, and served to enhance nitrate reduction in a paper-based device. 

Paper-Based Sensors 

The development of accurate, inexpensive, easy to use, and disposable sensors for point of care diagnostics, chemical, and environmental sensing is recently gaining attention. We have successfully developed a multitude of different paper-based sensors for various applications. 

3D Printing

Creating a suitable enclosure to house the paper-based device is critical for its functionality and ease of use. In this lab, we have successfully designed and developed different 3D printed housings for the various applications.  

Microfluidic Systems

“In the field” analysis requires a portable system with ability to communicate results to a central facility. This allows measuring and collecting a large amount of data from different geographical locations around an area of interest to monitor the concentration of a certain analyte. We have developed a portable lightbox that wirelessly interfaces with an iPhone to measure phosphate concentrations using paper-based devices. This lightbox can also be adapted for use in measuring other analytes.

Portable infrared lightbox and iPhone app for improving the detection limit of paper-based phosphate device