The technology platform combines chemiluminescence science with advanced lab-on-a-chip techniques to produce a hand held miniaturised device that can compete with state-of-the-art bench scale instruments. A proof of concept prototype has been developed which integrates an acoustically driven microfluidic mixing scheme to enhance detection of a common chemiluminescent reagent, tri(2,2 -bipyridyl)dichlororuthenium(II)hexahydrate ([Ru(bpy)3]2+). This compound is widely used for the analysis of a wide range of compounds such as illicit drugs, pharmaceuticals and pesticides and rapid in-line quantification can be carried out with sufficient on-chip sensitivity. This technologycan detect substances at below one part per billion, an order of magnitude better than existing portable devices and approaching theoretical limits for detection.
The key features, specifications and advantages of this technology include: a portable and lightweight microfluidic flow injection analysis platform, integrates a surface acoustic wave device into a continuous flow system a miniaturized photodetection scheme for the microanalytical quantification of chemiluminescent species in the liquid phase significantly improved detection limits of flow rate no sample preconcentration required easyintegrationinto low cost, portable, handheld devices lesser maintenance and lower costs The technology has been demonstrated in a proof of concept prototype and has shown that it is possible to achieve a hundredfold improvement in the detection limits to ng/L or parts per trillion as compared to the limits of detection reported for conventional flow injection analysis systems. It does not necessitate sample preconcentration which is a severe limitation that has hampered other attempts to miniaturize flow injection analysis systems.
Chemiluminescence based detection devices are used across a very wide range of industries: environmental testing for pesticides, drugs, bacteria, parasites and a wide range of other contaminants point-of-care medical screening for target analytes in blood, urine and saliva industrial process quality control such as in-line monitoring for the food, chemical, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries illegal drug detection and homeland security in trace samples of air and water medical research such as involving the study of gene expression and gene regulation
This technology provides for a low cost system that paves the way for an attractive opportunity of a completely miniaturised platform for portable field-use microanalytical systems. Furthermore the system can facilitate high throughput operation through ‘scale out’, via the adoption of a large number of devices in parallel. A significant advantage of such scaling out is the ease in replacing a single device in the event of a fault or when maintenance is required without necessitating complete shutdown of an entire operation. Besides enhancing performance of instrumentation across various industries, the miniaturised design and ultra high detection limits of the invention enables remote detection and analysis as well as continuous in-line industrial monitoring at quantified detection limits comparable to liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS) and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry GC-MS.