2D wax-printed paper substrates with extended solvent supply capabilities allow enhanced ion signal in paper spray ionization†
Paper-based microfluidic channels were created from solid wax printing, and the resultant 2D wax-printed paper substrates were used for paper spray (PS) mass spectrometry (MS) analysis of small organic compounds. Controlling fluid flow at the tip of the wax-printed paper triangles enabled the use of lower spray voltages (0.5–1 kV) and extended signal lifetime (10 minutes) in PS-MS. High sensitivity (sub ng mL−1 levels) and quantitation precision (<10% RSD) have been achieved in the analysis of illicit drugs in 4 μL of raw urine (fresh and dry), as well as corrosion inhibitors and pesticides in water samples. The reported study encourages the future development of disposable 3D microfluidic paper-based analytical devices, which function with simple operation but capable of on-chip analyte detection by MS; such a device can replace the traditional complex laboratory procedures for MS analysis to enable on-site in situ sampling with portable mass spectrometers.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Emerging Investigators