Radial wicking of biological fluids in paper

Michael J. Hertaeg, Rico F. Tabor, Joseph D. Berry, Gil Garnier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, we analyze stain growth kinetics from droplets of biological fluids such as blood, plasma, and protein solutions on paper both experimentally and numerically. The primary difference of biological fluids from a simple fluid is a significant wetting/dewetting hysteresis in paper. This becomes important in later stages of droplet wicking, after the droplet has been completely absorbed into paper. This is shown by anomalous power dependence of area with time in the later stages of radial wicking. At early stages, current numerical wicking models can predict stain growth of biological fluids. However, at later stages, the introduction of hysteresis complicates modeling significantly. We show that the cause of the observed hysteresis is due to contact angle effects and that this is the dominant mechanism that leads to the anomalous stain growth kinetics measured uniquely in biological fluids. Results presented will streamline the design process of paper-based diagnostics, allowing a modeling approach instead of a trial and error method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8209-8217
Number of pages9
Issue number28
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2020

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