Parametric analysis of wax printing technique for fabricating microfluidic paper-based analytic devices (µPAD) for milk adulteration analysis

  • Muhammad YounasEmail author
  • Ammara Maryam
  • Mushtaq Khan
  • Ahmad Ahsan Nawaz
  • Syed Husian Imran Jaffery
  • Muhammad Nabeel Anwar
  • Liaqat Ali
Research Paper


Accurate prediction of hydrophobic–hydrophilic channel barriers is essential in the fabrication of paper-based microfluidic devices. This research presents a detailed parametric analysis of wax printing technique for fabricating µPADs. Utilizing commonly used Grade 1 filter paper, experimental results show that the wax spreading in the paper porous structure depends on the initially deposited wax line thickness, a threshold melting temperature and melting time. Initial width of the printed line has a linear relationship with the final width of the barrier; however, a less pronounced effect of temperature was observed. Based on the spreading behavior of the molten wax at different parameters, a generalized regression model has been developed and validated experimentally. The developed model accurately predicts wax spreading in Whatman filter paper: a non-uniform distribution of pores and fibers. Finally, tests were carried out for calorimetric detection of commonly used adulterants present in milk samples.


Paper based Microfluidics Fabrication Wax printing Analytical devices Milk adulterants 

List of symbols


Average wax spreading from the edges of printed line


Final hydrophilic channel width


Width of printed line


Initial hydrophilic channel width


Melting temperature


Pore size


Melting time


Surface tension




Electronic supplementary information





We thank our lab colleagues Nauman Khan and Zia-ur-Rehman for their handful of suggestions during the lab work.


This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interests regarding the publication of this paper.

Supplementary material

10404_2019_2208_MOESM1_ESM.docx (11.7 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 12012 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Muhammad Younas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ammara Maryam
    • 1
  • Mushtaq Khan
    • 1
  • Ahmad Ahsan Nawaz
    • 1
    • 2
  • Syed Husian Imran Jaffery
    • 1
    • 3
  • Muhammad Nabeel Anwar
    • 1
  • Liaqat Ali
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering (SMME)National University of Science and Technology (NUST)IslamabadPakistan
  2. 2.Biotechnologisches Zentrum, Technische Universität DresdenDresdenGermany
  3. 3.School of Mechanical and Manufacturing EngineeringUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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