March 4, 2020
Journal Article

Metal-Organic Framework-Based Microfluidic Impedance Sensor Platform for Ultrasensitive Detection of Perfluorooctanesulfonate


The growing global concerns to public health from human exposure to perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) requires rapid, sensitive, in-situ detection where current, state-of-the-art techniques are yet to adequately meet sensitivity and selectivity standards of the real-world. This work presents, for the first time, a synergistic approach for the targeted affinity-based capture of PFOS using a porous sorbent probe that enhances detection sensitivity by embedding it on a microfluidic conductive platform. This novel sorbent-containing platform functions as an electrochemical sensor to directly measure PFOS concentration through a proportional change in electrical response (increase in impedance). The extremely high surface area and pore volume of mesoporous metal-organic framework (MOF) Cr-MIL-101 is used as the probe for targeted PFOS capture based on the affinity of the chromium center towards both the fluorine tail groups as well as the sulfonate functionalities as demonstrated by spectroscopic (NMR and XPS) and microscopic (TEM) studies. Answering the need for an ultrasensitive PFOS detection technique, we are embedding these MOF capture probes inside a microfluidic channel, sandwiched between interdigitated microelectrodes (IDµE). The nanoporous geometry increases the signal to noise ratio of interdigitated microelectrodes tremendously increasing sensitivity; this in combination with the ability of the capture probes to interact with the PFOS at the molecular level and effectively transduce that response electrochemically has allowed us achieve a PFOS detection limit of 0.5 ng/L, which is unprecedented for in-situ analytical PFOS sensors and even comparable to quantification limits achieved using state-of-the-art ex situ techniques.

Revised: October 26, 2020 | Published: March 4, 2020


Cheng Y., D. Barpaga, J.A. Soltis, V. Shutthanandan, R. Kargupta, K. Han, and B.P. McGrail, et al. 2020. Metal-Organic Framework-Based Microfluidic Impedance Sensor Platform for Ultrasensitive Detection of Perfluorooctanesulfonate. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 12, no. 9:10503-10514. PNNL-SA-141266. doi:10.1021/acsami.9b22445