Use of a rhodamine-based chelator in a microfluidic paper-based analytical device for the in-situ copper quantification in natural waters

Talanta. 2024 May 1:271:125683. doi: 10.1016/j.talanta.2024.125683. Epub 2024 Jan 24.


This work describes the development of a microfluidic paper-based analytical device (μPAD) for the determination of copper in fresh and marine waters. A functionalized rhodamine-based chelator was synthesized and used as a chromogenic reagent, forming a highly intense pink complex with the analyte. The aim was to create a paper device that offers optimal performance and provides in-situ, rapid and cost-effective analysis in line with World Health Organization guidelines. The influence on the determination of several physical and chemical parameters was evaluated aiming to achieve the best performance. Under optimised conditions, a linear correlation was established in the range of 0.05-0.50 mg L-1 of copper, with a limit of detection of 10 μg L-1. The accuracy of the proposed method was assessed by comparing the results obtained with the developed μPAD and the results obtained with Inductively Coupled Plasma measurements (RE < 10 %). Recovery studies were also performed using different types of water samples with no need for any prior sample pre-treatment: tap, well, river and seawater. The average recovery percentage of 101 % (RSD = 4.3 %) was obtained, a clear indication of no multiplicative matrix interferences.

Keywords: Copper(II) determination; Functionalized copper ligand; In-situ analysis; Natural waters; Paper sensor device.