SEOUL, Aug. 23 (Korea Bizwire) — A South Korean research team has developed environment-friendly paper micro-fluid chips that could replace silicon chips in the medical and environmental fields, the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) said on Wednesday.
The research team led by professor Hyun Jin-ho at Seoul National University was able to successfully develop paper-based micro-fluid chips using a hydrogel type of nanofiber through 3D printing technology.
Micro-fluid chips are used for heat and mass transfer on a micrometer scale in the fields of medicine and environment to take on a wide range of tasks from pregnancy, microalbuminuria and malaria tests to the detection of toxic gas and heavy metal ions.
Though increasing attempts have been made to use 3D printing technology in the development of micro-fluid chips in recent years, most of the chips have been made of either silicon or acrylic resin, limiting the range of materials used to create the multi-purpose chips.
The newly developed paper-based micro-fluid chips are thought to be capable of integrating various structures without further inosculation and assembling, while visible enough for movement to be observed unlike those made of fiber.
As the new chip is biologically friendly, researchers are hopeful the new development will be used in making biochips and biosensors.
“By replacing silicon-based micro-fluid chips, the new chip will be used in both the medical and environmental fields for various purposes,” said Hyun.
The findings from the study were published in international academic journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces last month.