Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics


Fluid Mechanics


Mechanical, Industrial and Systems Engineering

First Advisor

Mohammad Faghri

Second Advisor

Constantine Anagnostopoulos


This work contributes to the burgeoning field of paper-based analytical devices, with a particular focus on advancing global health outcomes through the development of an innovative paper-based Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (p-ELISA) platform. At its core, this research seeks to address the critical need for accessible, efficient, and reliable diagnostic tools by leveraging the unique properties of paper as a substrate for fluid dynamics and biochemical reactions. The motivation behind this endeavor is the potential for such devices to significantly improve diagnostic capabilities, especially in resource-limited settings where traditional laboratory infrastructure is scarce.

The work is structured around a comprehensive exploration of both theoretical and empirical aspects necessary for the development and optimization of the p-ELISA platform. The initial sections lay the groundwork by introducing current advancements in p-ELISA systems, delineating the research objectives towards creating a platform for efficient biomarker detection. Key components, including the dynamics of fluid flow within paper substrates and the operational principles of Bi-Material Cantilever (B-MaC) actuators, are examined to establish a foundation for the proposed innovations.

Further investigation introduces a refined microfluidics platform capable of autonomously conducting ELISA with minimal user intervention. This novel design surpasses previous models by integrating a sophisticated channel network that forms a complete fluidic logic circuit, thereby facilitating ELISA in paper format. The platform’s design has been optimized for fluid wicking times and aligns with global health criteria, highlighting its suitability for a wide range of applications.

The research delves into fluid dynamics in Microfluidic Paper-based Analytical Devices (µPADs), employing both empirical experiments and advanced numerical modeling. A new model is proposed to understand fluid behavior under various conditions, contributing to the design and application optimization of µPADs. The study of B-MaC actuators reveals insights into their bending behavior and potential for autonomous actuation in biochemical assays, with a focus on the material dynamics and the actuator’s response to fluid-induced changes.

The culmination of this work showcases the integration of µPADs with ELISA, presenting a Lab-on-Paper 3D microfluidic device that represents a significant advancement in diagnostic technology. Capable of both quantitative assessments and qualitative ELISA, this device demonstrates the potential for rapid, reliable diagnostics across a spectrum of applications, from infectious diseases to environmental monitoring and food safety. By offering a scalable, cost-effective solution for disease detection, this thesis contributes significantly to the field of diagnostics, with the potential to enhance global health outcomes through improved accessibility and reliability of testing solutions.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.