Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Polymers and Coatings


Chemistry & Biochemistry


Andres W. Martinez


Paper Based Microfluidic Devices (microPADs) are a new platform for point-of-care diagnostic assays for use in resource-limited settings. These devices rely typically on enzymatic assays to produce their results, which makes them susceptible to degradation when exposed to extreme environmental conditions such as high temperature. In order to overcome this limitation, this research project focused on investigating the use of polymers instead of enzymes to detect analytes on microPADs.

Polymer-bound boronic acid, a glucose and pH sensitive polymer, was incorporated into microPADs in order to develop a chronometric, paper-based glucose assay. The polymer was tested with both lateral and vertical flow microPADs made from three different types of paper, and several different methods of incorporating the polymer into the devices were also explored. While some devices appeared to show a trend in signal versus concentration of glucose, none of the results were statistically significant due to the large standard deviations in the signal. Upon further analysis of the results, the overall conclusion was that the devices were not sensitive enough to detect glucose in the range of concentrations that would be practical for clinical diagnostic applications.