Multimaterial 3D Printed Fluidic Device for Measuring Pharmaceuticals in Biological Fluids

Feng Li, Niall P. MacDonald, Rosanne M. Guijt, Michael C. Breadmore*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Multimaterial 3D printing provides a unique capability for the creation of highly complex integrated devices where complementary functionality is realized using differences in material properties. Using a single and automated print process, microfluidic devices were fabricated containing (i) an optically transparent structure for fluorescence detection, (ii) electrodes for electrokinetic transport, (iii) a primary membrane to remove particulates and macromolecules including proteins, and (iv) a secondary membrane to concentrate small molecule targets. The device was used for the simultaneous extraction and concentration of small molecule pharmaceuticals from urine, which was followed by an on-chip electrophoretic separation of the concentrated targets for quantitative analysis. Owing to the high level of functional integration inside the device, manual handling was minimal and restricted to the introduction of the sample and buffer solutions. The 3D printed sample-in/answer-out device allowed the direct quantification of ampicillin - a small molecule pharmaceutical - in untreated urine within 3 min, down to 2 ppm. These results demonstrate the potential of 3D printing for on-demand fabrication of disposable, functionally integrated devices for low-cost point-of-collection (POC) diagnostics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1758-1763
Number of pages6
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number3
Early online date4 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2019


F.L. acknowledges the University of Tasmania for the provision of a scholarship. M.C.B. acknowledges an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship Award (FT130100101). R.M.G. acknowledges the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for the award of a fellowship for Experienced Researchers. Support from the ARC Centre of Excellence for electromaterials Science (ACES; Grant CE140100012) for funding is also acknowledged. The authors also acknowledge Dr. Joan Marc Cabot Canyelles for discussions.

FundersFunder number
Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung
Australian Research CouncilFT130100101
University of Tasmania
Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science, Australian Research CouncilCE140100012


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