This paper describes a paper-based analytical device allowing the direct semiquantitative interpretation of the result of a chemical assay in the form of "text". The combined use of a classical colorimetric indicator system and an additional inert colorant enables a versatile text-displaying detection mechanism on a paper device. For proof-of-concept, urinary protein has been selected as a model analytical target. The whole text-displaying paper device has been developed based on printing techniques including wax printing, inkjet printing, and 3D printing. The results of user tests performed with protein (human serum albumin) samples in aqueous standard solutions and human urine demonstrated that the accuracy was comparable for the elaborated paper device (74.7% for standard samples and 66.7% for urine) and a conventional colorimetric urine dipstick (67.2% for standard samples and 65.3% for urine). Storage stability as long as at least 117 days has been confirmed based on software-assisted quantitative color analysis. The developed text-displaying approach is proposed as an alternative simple detection motif for paper-based analytical devices.
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