Bioactive paper provides a low-cost platform for diagnostics
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Bioactive paper includes a range of potential paper-based materials that can perform analytical functions normally reserved for multi-well plates in the laboratory or for portable electronic devices. Pathogen detection is the most compelling application. Simple paper-based detection, not requiring hardware, has the potential to have impacts in society, ranging from the kitchen to disasters in the developing world. Bioactive-paper research is an emerging field with significant efforts in Canada, USA (Harvard), Finland and Australia. Following a brief introduction to the material and surface properties of paper, I review the literature. Some of the early work exploits the porosity of paper to generate paper-based microfluidics ("paperfluidics") devices. I exclude from this review printed electronic devices and plastics-supported devices.
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