Degree Name

BS in Biomedical Engineering


Biomedical and General Engineering Department


Dr. David Clague


A central goal of diagnostic microfluidics is to reduce the cost of diagnostic medicine by reducing the equipment and reagents needed to perform diagnostic tests. The literature has demonstrated that a wax printer can be used to pattern nitrocellulose paper with hydrophobic barriers to direct a sample in a defined reaction path, eliminating the need for external pumps and controllers. However, manufacturing methods for minimizing sample volume (and thus reagent volume) in a paper-diagnostic chip have not been well defined. In this work, we experimentally determine manufacturing processes for creating functional features of minimal size—effectively reducing the sample size and required reagents. We describe the methods for determining the effects that temperature, time, and substrate type have on printable feature size. Using this developed knowledge, we were able to create 400-micron barriers and demonstrate functional channels as narrow as 100 microns. By standardizing manufacturing methods, we have enabled future exploration of novel applications for wax-based paper-microfluidics