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A Case Study of Nitrate Reduction in Paper-Based Devices
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1  University of Rhode Island
Academic Editor: Constantin Apetrei (registering DOI)

Paper-based microfluidic technology is a relatively new field of research that provides low-cost platforms and sensors for point-of-care diagnostics. While the majority of research in this field has been for biomedical applications, more and more paper-based devices and platforms are being designed and developed for environmental applications such as water quality monitoring and assessment. One such application is the detection of nitrate in water samples. Colorimetric detection of nitrate by paper-based devices using the Griess assay requires the reduction of nitrate to nitrite before undergoing the reaction. In this paper, we measured the performance of a paper-based dip strip for detecting nitrate and nitrite by calculating its limit of detection and limit quantification. We also calculated the reduction efficiency of vanadium (III) chloride in the dip strip for detecting nitrate. Our results show that the reduction time of nitrate via vanadium (III) chloride is much longer than that when using zinc microparticles. Our results also show that the performance of the dip strip using vanadium (III) chloride for nitrate detection is not as good as more intricate paper-based devices that have a separate reaction zone with zinc microparticles. The limits of detection and quantification calculated were 3.352 ppm and 7.437 ppm and the nitrate reduction efficiency varied over the range of nitrate concentrations tested.

Keywords: nitrate reduction; zinc microparticles; vanadium (III) chloride; materials for chemical sensing; nitrate detection; Griess reaction; colorimetric assay; paper-based devices; paper microfluidics; point-of-care diagnostics