Adaptive use of bubble wrap for storing liquid samples and performing analytical assays

David K. Bwambok, Dionysios C. Christodouleas, Stephen A. Morin, Heiko Lange, Scott T. Phillips, George M. Whitesides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


This paper demonstrates that the gas-filled compartments in the packing material commonly called "bubble wrap" can be repurposed in resource-limited regions as containers to store liquid samples, and to perform bioanalyses. The bubbles of bubble wrap are easily filled by injecting the samples into them using a syringe with a needle or a pipet tip, and then sealing the hole with nail hardener. The bubbles are transparent in the visible range of the spectrum, and can be used as "cuvettes" for absorbance and fluorescence measurements. The interiors of these bubbles are sterile and allow storage of samples without the need for expensive sterilization equipment. The bubbles are also permeable to gases, and can be used to culture and store micro-organisms. By incorporating carbon electrodes, these bubbles can be used as electrochemical cells. This paper demonstrates the capabilities of the bubbles by culturing E. coli, growing C. elegans, measuring glucose and hemoglobin spectrophotometrically, and measuring ferrocyanide electrochemically, all within the bubbles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7478-7485
Number of pages8
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 5 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Adaptive use of bubble wrap for storing liquid samples and performing analytical assays'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this