The Development of Digital Image Colorimetric Quantitative Analysis of Multi-Explosives Using Polymer Gel Sensors

Sensors (Basel). 2021 Dec 1;21(23):8041. doi: 10.3390/s21238041.


Polymer gel sensors on 96-well plates were successfully used to detect four different multi-explosives, including 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT), 2,4-dinitrotoluene (DNT), nitrite, and perchlorate. The products of reactions between the explosives and the polymer gel sensors were digitally captured, and the images were analyzed by a developed Red-Green-Blue (RGB) analyzer program on a notebook computer. RGB color analysis provided the basic color data of the reaction products for the quantification of the explosives. The results provided good linear range, sensitivity, limit of detection, limit of quantitation, specificity, interference tolerance, and recovery. The method demonstrated great potential to detect explosives by colorimetric analysis of digital images of samples on 96-well plates. It is possible to apply the proposed method for quantitative on-site field screening of multi-explosives.

Keywords: 96-well plates; RGB intensity values; colorimetric detection; digital images; multi-explosives; polymer gel sensor.

MeSH terms

  • Colorimetry
  • Dinitrobenzenes
  • Explosive Agents*
  • Polymers
  • Trinitrotoluene*


  • Dinitrobenzenes
  • Explosive Agents
  • Polymers
  • Trinitrotoluene