Laboratory for Analytical Chemistry

Citterio Laboratory


Innovation of Chemical Sensors

Keio University

Faculty of Science and Technology

Department of Applied Chemistry

Inkjet Printed Paper-Based Analytical Devices


Modern drop-on-demand inkjet printing allows the highly reproducible and controlled contactless deposition of picoliter-sized liquid droplets on numerous types of substrates. For this reason, it is increasingly drawing attention as a fabrication technology both in industry and science, as for example in the development of (bio)chemical sensing devices.


Our research group is relying on inkjet printing for the fabrication of small-sized and low-cost (bio)chemical sensing devices with optical signal transduction. A particularly interesting area of application for this printing technology is related to microfluidic paper-based analytical devices (µPADs). The philosophy behind µPADs is to provide extremely low-cost, simple to use, but still reliable analytical devices applicable for diagnostic or environmental analysis in low-resource settings, such as those encountered in developing countries or in home-healthcare situations.


Our group has been first to demonstrate the applicability of inkjet printing for both the microfluidic patterning of paper substrates and for the deposition of reagents required for (bio)chemical sensing with µPADs. We have also been able to combine two different lateral-flow-type immunochromatographic assays and a simple pH-sensor on a single piece of filter paper ("immuno-chemical sensing paper"), with all fabrication steps performed on an inkjet printer. Furthermore, by developing a faster and more environmentally friendly (VOC-free) paper patterning method, a µPAD for H2O2 detection entirely printed on a single off-the-shelf inkjet printer has been realized. More recently, a µPAD for the determination of lactoferrin in human tear fluid has been developed. With this approach, an antibody-free lactoferrin sensing system without the need for expensive laboratory instrumentation has been achieved for the first time.


Finally, inkjet printing technology has also been applied to the fabrication of simple gas sensor arrays on common copy paper.


For specific information, please refer to our list of publications.



Citterio Laboratory 2019

Last update: January 12, 2019