5 years ago

Microchemical Plant in a Liquid Droplet: Plasmonic Liquid Marble for Sequential Reactions and Attomole Detection of Toxin at Microliter Scale

Microchemical Plant in a Liquid Droplet: Plasmonic Liquid Marble for Sequential Reactions and Attomole Detection of Toxin at Microliter Scale
Charlynn Sher Lin Koh, Xuemei Han, Wee Shern Chew, Hiang Kwee Lee, Xing Yi Ling
Miniaturizing the continuous multistep operations of a factory into a microchemical plant offers a safe and cost-effective approach to promote high-throughput screening in drug development and enforcement of industrial/environmental safety. While particle-assembled microdroplets in the form of liquid marble are ideal as microchemical plant, these platforms are mainly restricted to single-step reactions and limited to ex situ reaction monitoring. Herein, we utilize plasmonic liquid marble (PLM), formed by encapsulating liquid droplet with Ag nanocubes, to address these issues and demonstrate it as an ideal microchemical plant to conduct reaction-and-detection sequences on-demand in a nondisruptive manner. Utilizing a two-step azo-dye formation as our model reaction, our microchemical plant allows rapid and efficient diazotization of nitroaniline to form diazonium nitrobenzene, followed by the azo coupling of this intermediate with target aromatic compound to yield azo-dye. These molecular events are tracked in situ via SERS measurement through the plasmonic shell and further verified with in silico investigation. Furthermore, we apply our microchemical plant for ultrasensitive SERS detection and quantification of bisphenol A (BPA) with detection limit down to 10 amol, which is 50 000-fold lower than the BPA safety limit. Together with the protections offered by plasmonic shell against external environments, these collective advantages empower PLM as a multifunctional microchemical plant to facilitate small-volume testing and optimization of processes relevant in industrial and research contexts.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.7b13917

DOI: 10.1021/acsami.7b13917

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