Lab-on-a-Chip Analysis of Explosives
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC CHEMISTRY DIV
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Laboratory analysis of complex real-world samples typically requires a series of time-consuming and labor-intensive steps that include sample preparation, separation, and detection. The emerging technology of microfluidic analytical devices, or Lab-on-a-Chip LOC, allows these functions to be integrated onto a single compact platform. Such devices, due to the design simplicity available through advanced microfabrication technologies, permit the integration of various functional elements such as sample preparation and handling, sample loading, separation, and detection, onto a single microchip platform. Typical analytical microsystems rely on electrokinetic fluid pumping of the sample through a network of channels patterned in a planar glass or plastic substrate, eliminating the need for external pumps or valves. Microchip capillary electrophoresis CE has been shown to provide high-speed analysis with improved separation efficiencies, therefore, are very attractive for addressing some of the security needs currently facing our troops. These needs include the sensitive and selective detection of explosives, whether in oceanic environments e.g., mines, or as improvised explosive devices IED. Despite the advantages afforded by these devices, the reduced microfluidic channel dimensions directly affect the sensitivity of most traditional detection technologies and require integrating additional sample preconcentration techniques onto the microchip platform. We discuss the successful application of LOC to the analysis of explosive mixtures. We examine the integration of on-chip solid phase extraction SPE techniques for dramatic enhancements in sensitivity.
- Test Facilities, Equipment and Methods
- Ammunition and Explosives