The Fascination of Paper

  • Jan G. KorvinkEmail author


Paper is a medium that, despite its long history, doesn’t cease to fascinate. When some unrelated technology is eventually transferred to a paper basis, human beings respond with wonder and amazement. Thus we find that people often are prepared to invest much personal effort to help facilitate this step. In some cultures, notably in China and Japan, paper is traditionally treated with great respect, and to this day paper crafts are maintained to a high degree of sophistication. The respect afforded to paper applications is certainly no different for paper-based medical diagnostics. One might consider the cause of this fascination. Paper is certainly ubiquitous, and most likely strongly linked to our childhood experiences, so that most people actually possess fairly considerable paper skills and intuitions by the time they reach into adulthood. But more than that, we observe that paper is so uncanningly versatile, which encourages us to seek new applications beyond the obvious. In this contribution we take a look at paper from this perhaps unusual perspective, complementing the more detailed scientific viewpoints in the remainder of this book.



I gratefully acknowledge the following agencies for their continued support of my work: the Deutsche Forschungsgesellschaft (DFG), especially for the grants Rolled up microsystems (KO 1883/23-1), MetaCoils (KO 1883/20-1), and BrainLinks-BrainTools (EXC 1086), and the European Research Council (ERC), especially for the grants NMCEL, LiVOX, and LockChip. I also got benefit from the excellent research infrastructure at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, which I hereby acknowledge.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Karlsruhe Institute of TechnologyKarlsruheGermany

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