Evaluation of cellophane as platform for colorimetric assays on microfluidic analytical devices

Hiroki Shigemori, Kento Maejima, Hiroyuki Shibata, Yuki Hiruta, Daniel Citterio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Due to their low cost, simplicity, and pump-free liquid transport properties, colorimetric assays on paper spots and microfluidic paper-based analytical devices (µPADs) are regarded as useful tools for point-of-care testing (POCT). However, for certain types of colorimetric assays, the “non-transparent” and “white” characters of paper can be a disadvantage. In this work, the possibilities of using cellophane as an alternative platform for colorimetric assays have been investigated. Cellophane is a low cost and easy-to-handle transparent film made of regenerated cellulose. Owing to its hydrophilic character, cellophane-based microfluidic channels fabricated through a print–cut–laminate approach enabled pump-free liquid transport into multiple detection areas, similar to µPADs. In addition, the water absorption characteristics of cellophane allowed the stable immobilization of water-soluble colorimetric indicators without any surface modification or additional reagents. The transparency of cellophane provides possibilities for simple background coloring of the substrates, increasing the dynamic signal range for hue-based colorimetric assays, as demonstrated for two model assays targeting H2O2 (46-fold increase) and creatinine (3.6-fold increase). Finally, a turbidity detection-based protein assay was realized on black background cellophane spots. The lowest limits of detection achieved with the cellophane-based devices were calculated as 7 µM for H2O2, 2.7 mg dL−1 for creatinine, and 3.5 mg dL−1 for protein (human serum albumin). Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Article number48
JournalMikrochimica Acta
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Feb


  • Background-colored colorimetric assay
  • Cellulose material
  • Gray-scale evaluation
  • ImageJ
  • POCT
  • Pump-free microfluidics
  • Transparent substrate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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