Biphasic Ion Detection
Using water-immiscible phase to detect ions in small-volume samples
At home diagnostic tests, such as blood electrolyte detection and blood calcium detection, have been on the rise with the market expected to reach $8.15 Billion in 2030 [Source]. A problem with current blood detection tests is that a large volume of blood sample is needed (tens of microliters or above). This is a problem when the sample is precious or hard to collect. One example is fingerstick blood testing, in which only several microliters of blood is collected.
Researchers at VCU have developed a biphasic method to mix, separate, and optically detect ions inside a sample in a highly sensitive manner without optical interference from the blood itself. This process uses a water-immiscible liquid, inexpensive materials, and specific mixing technique to make ion detection highly sensitive and low-cost for the user. The required sample volume is typically below 5 microliters. By utilizing a specific mixing technique within this process, no hemolysis of blood samples is induced. This biphasic method can be applied to become an all-in-one, compact machine to detect ions in a sample.