Hemp-Based Microfluidics.

Micromachines (2021-03-07)
Mikail Temirel, Sajjad Rahmani Dabbagh, Savas Tasoglu

Hemp is a sustainable, recyclable, and high-yield annual crop that can be used to produce textiles, plastics, composites, concrete, fibers, biofuels, bionutrients, and paper. The integration of microfluidic paper-based analytical devices (µPADs) with hemp paper can improve the environmental friendliness and high-throughputness of µPADs. However, there is a lack of sufficient scientific studies exploring the functionality, pros, and cons of hemp as a substrate for µPADs. Herein, we used a desktop pen plotter and commercial markers to pattern hydrophobic barriers on hemp paper, in a single step, in order to characterize the ability of markers to form water-resistant patterns on hemp. In addition, since a higher resolution results in densely packed, cost-effective devices with a minimized need for costly reagents, we examined the smallest and thinnest water-resistant patterns plottable on hemp-based papers. Furthermore, the wicking speed and distance of fluids with different viscosities on Whatman No. 1 and hemp papers were compared. Additionally, the wettability of hemp and Whatman grade 1 paper was compared by measuring their contact angles. Besides, the effects of various channel sizes, as well as the number of branches, on the wicking distance of the channeled hemp paper was studied. The governing equations for the wicking distance on channels with laser-cut and hydrophobic side boundaries are presented and were evaluated with our experimental data, elucidating the applicability of the modified Washburn equation for modeling the wicking distance of fluids on hemp paper-based microfluidic devices. Finally, we validated hemp paper as a substrate for the detection and analysis of the potassium concentration in artificial urine.