Heat-Actuated Wax Valves for Multistep Paper-Fluidic Diagnostics

Phillips, Elizabeth ;   Clift, Tori ;   Linnes, Jacqueline Callihan

Paper-based isothermal amplification of nucleic acids combined with simple visual lateral flow detection strips presents a rapid, disposable method to detect pathogens at the point of care. However, existing assays require multiple user activated steps for sample preparation, amplification, and detection subsystems. Here, we have developed heat-actuated valves made from phase change materials (i.e. wax) to automate fluidics within these devices. This fluidic automation technique mitigates user error to enable robust paper-based isothermal amplification and multistep diagnostics for use at the point of care.