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  1. Extensive research is focused on the development of highly sensitive, rapid on-site diagnostic devices. The lateral flow strip (LFS) is a paper-based point-of-care diagnostic device, which is highly promising because of its ease of use and low cost. Despite these advantages, LFS device is still less popular than other methods such as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) or real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) due to its low sensitivity. Here, we have developed a fluorescence-based lateral flow strip (f-LFS) device for DNA detection using a molecular beacon (MB), a short hairpin-forming DNA strand tagged with a fluorophore-quencher pair. Each paper and membrane component of f-LFS device was carefully selected based on their physicochemical properties including porosity, surface functionality, and autofluorescence. The limit of detection (LOD) of this device was substantially improved to 2.1 fg/mL by adding MgCl 2 to the reaction buffer and narrowing the test membrane dimension. Also, a portable fluorescence detection system for f-LFS was developed using a multi-pixel photon counter (MPPC), a sensitive detector detecting the signal on site. We anticipate that this highly sensitive paper-based diagnostic device can be utilized for on-site diagnosis of various diseases. 
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  2. We report an experimental investigation of pressure-driven flow of a viscous liquid across thin polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) membranes. Our experiments revealed a nonlinear relation between the flow rate $Q$ and the applied pressure drop $\unicode[STIX]{x0394}p$ , in apparent disagreement with Darcy’s law, which dictates a linear relationship between flow rate, or average velocity, and pressure drop. These observations suggest that the effective permeability of the membrane decreases with pressure due to deformation of the nanochannels in the PDMS polymeric network. We propose a model that incorporates the effects of pressure-induced deformation of the hyperelastic porous membrane at three distinct scales: the membrane surface area, which increases with pressure, the membrane thickness, which decreases with pressure, and the structure of the porous material, which is deformed at the nanoscale. With this model, we are able to rationalize the deviation between Darcy’s law and the data. Our result represents a novel case in which macroscopic deformations can impact the microstructure and transport properties of soft materials. 
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  3. Abstract

    Key solutions for material selection, processing, and performance of environmentally friendly high‐power generators are addressed. High voltage and high power generation of flexible devices using piezoelectric Bi0.5(Na0.78K0.22)TiO3nanoparticle filler–polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) elastomeric matrix for a lead‐free piezoelectric composite film on a cellulose paper substrate is demonstrated. To elucidate the principle of power generation by the piezoelectric composite configuration, the dielectric and piezoelectric characteristics of the composite film are investigated and the results are compared with those of theoretical modeling. The paper‐based composite generator produces a large output voltage of ≈100 V and an average current of ≈20 µA (max. ≈30 µA) through tapping stimulation, which is a record‐high performance compared to previously reported flexible lead‐free piezoelectric composite energy harvesters. Moreover, a triboelectric‐hybridized piezoelectric composite device using a micro‐patterned PDMS shows a much higher output voltage of ≈250 V and output power of ≈0.5 mW, which drives 300 light‐emitting diodes. These results prove that a new class of paper‐based and lead‐free energy harvesting device provides a strong possibility for enlarging the functionality and the capability of high‐power scavengers in flexible and wearable electronics such as sensors and medical devices.

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