Programmable diagnostic devices made from paper and tape

Andres W. Martinez, Scott T. Phillips, Zhihong Nie, Chao Min Cheng, Emanuel Carrilho, Benjamin J. Wiley, George M. Whitesides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

317 Scopus citations


This paper describes three-dimensional microfluidic paper-based analytical devices (3-D PADs) that can be programmed (postfabrication) by the user to generate multiple patterns of flow through them. These devices are programmed by pressing single-use 'on' buttons, using a stylus or a ballpoint pen. Pressing a button closes a small space (gap) between two vertically aligned microfluidic channels, and allows fluids to wick from one channel to the other. These devices are simple to fabricate, and are made entirely out of paper and double-sided adhesive tape. Programmable devices expand the capabilities of PADs and provide a simple method for controlling the movement of fluids in paper-based channels. They are the conceptual equivalent of field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) widely used in electronics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2499-2504
Number of pages6
JournalLab on a Chip
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 7 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • General Chemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering


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