JRM Vol.35 No.5 pp. 1193-1202
doi: 10.20965/jrm.2023.p1193


Development of a Microfluidic Ion Current Measurement System for Single-Microplastic Detection

Yuta Kishimoto*, Sachiko Ide*, Toyohiro Naito* ORCID Icon, Yuta Nakashima**,*** ORCID Icon, Yoshitaka Nakanishi** ORCID Icon, and Noritada Kaji*,† ORCID Icon

*Department of Applied Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyushu University
744 Motooka, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka 819-0395, Japan

Corresponding author

**Faculty of Advanced Science and Technology, Kumamoto University
2-39-1 Kurokami, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto 860-8555, Japan

***International Research Organization for Advanced Science and Technology, Kumamoto University
2-39-1 Kurokami, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto 860-8555, Japan

April 12, 2023
July 7, 2023
October 20, 2023
microfluidic devices, microplastics, ion current sensing, single microplastic detection

Microplastics (MPs) can adsorb heavy metals and metalloids and may cause a potential health hazard. Precise measurements of their size, shape, composition, and concentration at a single-MP level are important to evaluate their potential toxicity and identify their original source. However, current single-MP analytical methods such as micro-Raman spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy have low throughput. Therefore, in this study, we applied the ion current sensing method, which has been used for single cell analysis, to single-MP analysis and examined whether size measurement and composition analysis of MPs at the single particle level are possible. In single-MP measurements, plastic particles must be mono-dispersed in solution at least within the measurement time. The agglomeration behavior was carefully observed after adding sodium dodecyl sulfate to tris-borate-EDTA buffer at 2–16 mM. Under these conditions, the size of polystyrene beads could be measured using the ion current sensing under the mono-dispersed condition. Next, ion current sensing was performed on four pseudo MPs fabricated from different materials (polyethylene, polyethylene terephthalate, polypropylene, and polyvinyl chloride) that were mechanically grazed and UV-irradiated to imitate real marine MPs. Although significant differences in the ion current signals from different material MPs were not observed, fast (100 MPs within 2 s) and precise measurements in the MPs’ sizes at a single-MP level were successfully achieved.

Overview of the microfluidic ion current measurement system

Overview of the microfluidic ion current measurement system

Cite this article as:
Y. Kishimoto, S. Ide, T. Naito, Y. Nakashima, Y. Nakanishi, and N. Kaji, “Development of a Microfluidic Ion Current Measurement System for Single-Microplastic Detection,” J. Robot. Mechatron., Vol.35 No.5, pp. 1193-1202, 2023.
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