Paper and fiber-based bio-diagnostic platforms: Current challenges and future needs
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© 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.In this perspective article, some of the latest paper and fiber-based bio-analytical platforms are summarized, along with their fabrication strategies, the processing behind the product development, and the embedded systems in which paper or fiber materials were integrated. The article also reviews bio-recognition applications of paper/fiber-based devices, the detected analytes of interest, applied detection techniques, the related evaluation parameters, the type and duration of the assays, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each technique. Moreover, some of the existing challenges of utilizing paper and/or fiber materials are discussed. These include control over the physical characteristics (porosity, permeability, wettability) and the chemical properties (surface functionality) of paper/fiber materials are discussed. Other aspects of the review focus on shelf life, the multi-functionality of the platforms, readout strategies, and other challenges that have to be addressed in order to obtain reliable detection outcomes.