Microfluidic paper-based analytical devices (μPADs) have been suggested as alternatives for developing countries with suboptimal medical conditions because of their low diagnostic cost, high portability, and disposable characteristics. Recently, paper-based diagnostic devices enabling multi-step assays have been drawing attention, as they allow complicated tests, such as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which were previously only conducted in the laboratory, to be performed on-site. In addition, user convenience and price of paper-based diagnostic devices are other competitive points over other point-of-care testing (POCT) devices, which are more critical in developing countries. Fluid manipulation technologies in paper play a key role in realizing multi-step assays via μPADs, and the expansion of biochemical applications will provide developing countries with more medical benefits. Therefore, we herein aimed to investigate recent fluid manipulation technologies utilized in paper-based devices and to introduce various approaches adopting several principles to control fluids on papers. Fluid manipulation technologies are classified into passive and active methods. While passive valves are structurally simple and easy to fabricate, they are difficult to control in terms of flow at a specific spatiotemporal condition. On the contrary, active valves are more complicated and mostly require external systems, but they provide much freedom of fluid manipulation and programmable operation. Both technologies have been revolutionized in the way to compensate for their limitations, and their advances will lead to improved performance of μPADs, increasing the level of healthcare around the world.
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