Printed microfluidic biosensors and their biomedical applications

Jacky Loo, Aaron Ho Pui Ho, Wing Cheung Mak

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


In the last few decades, printed microfluidics exhibited attractive unique advantages, such as fast turnaround time and high flexibility in customization and fabrication, showing potentials in on-site production and downstream biosensing. The advancement in technical methods of fabrication, assembly, and integration has simplified the construction of these biosensors without sacrificing their biosensing performance. Since their development in the 1990s, microfluidic technologies have enabled the processing of fluid on micron scale, hence reducing the need for a large volume of the sample, from milliliter in conventional biosensing methods to pico-or micro-liter. It also supports automation in fluidic actuation to realize sample-to-answer biosensing, an essential feature for its use as a point-of-care and point-of-use test. This chapter first gives a brief overview of printed microfluidic biosensors, an introduction to the origins of microfluidics, and types of printed microfluidics compared to traditional microfluidics. It then covers each type of printed microfluidics (2D, pseudo-3D, 3D, and 4D) and its corresponding fabrication and assembly methods. Next, it discusses different approaches to conjugating the recognition elements, such as nucleic acid probes and antibodies, into the printed microfluidics and the integration with actuators and signal detecting units to make functional biosensors. Optical and electrochemical detection techniques are our main focus. The chapter then highlights in-depth researches on using these biosensors for two biomedical applications, i.e., disease screening and food safety. Lastly, we discuss the outlook on the development of printed microfluidics. This chapter aims to provide the reader with the updated knowledge on the advanced technologies for constructing printed microfluidic biosensors and increasing awareness of the importance of these advanced techniques and their practical real-life applications.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMicrofluidic Biosensors
EditorsWing Cheung Mak, Aaron Ho Pui Ho
PublisherAcademic Press
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-12-823846-2
Publication statusPublished - 2023
MoE publication typeA3 Book section, Chapters in research books


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