Crafting A Way to Better Performance of Paper-Based Analytical Devices

Research Seminar abstract

Microfluidic paper-based analytical devices (mPADs) provide a user-friendly, low-cost method for on-site and point-of-need analyses as an alternative to traditional assays and sensors. The field has increased exponentially since the seminal publication, with a host of new analytes and clever architectures being developed for a variety of applications, including environmental analysis.1,2 However, several critical obstacles remain for mPADs including improving detection limits, increasing selectivity, increasing the range of measurable analytes and reducing analysis time. In this talk, I will present three studies that address these issues. The first study examines simple factors to improve sample delivery through a cellulose channel that directly and significantly impact detection limits. While Ni(II) detection was used to study the system, the methods could be translated to Mn(II) detection, antibiotic purity tests and determination of nitrite in saliva suggesting broad applicability of the methods. The second study aims to develop a selective test for Al(III) in food, mining and water samples. To address this need, a fluorescent ligand for Al(III) was synthesized and characterized on a mPAD for the first time. A distance-based µPAD for Al(III) exhibited a linear range from 2–55 ppm and a limit of detection of 2 ppm. The last study aimed at decreasing analysis time utilizing multiple layers of paper. By increasing both the number of paper layers and the distance between them, the flux of solution is dramatically increased in agreement with theoretical predictions. However, flow rates deviated from predictions at large spacing in contradiction to predictions. The detailed characterization and understanding, will allow us, however to design assays that take seconds to complete instead of minutes in the future.


(1) Martinez, A. W.; Phillips, S. T.; Butte, M. J.; Whitesides, G. M. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2007, 46, 1318.

(2) Meredith, N. A.; Quinn, C.; Cate, D. M.; Reilly, T. H.; Volckens, J.; Henry, C. S. Analyst, 2016, 141, 1874.



Division(s): Analytical

Speaker: Michael Nguyen

Speaker Institution: Colorado State University

Event Date: 04-26-2017

Event Time: 4:00 PM

Event Location: Chemistry A101

Mixer Time: 3:45 PM

Mixer Location: Chemistry B101E

Host: C. Henry