A Novel Approach for Microplastic Detection Based on the Triboelectric Method in a Microfluidic Platform

M. Hoorfar, A. Motalebizadeh, S. Fardindoost
University of Victoria,
Canada

Keywords: microplastics, Microfluidics, triboelectric, sensor

Summary:

MPs are typically defined as solid, 5 mm-sized, different types of water-insoluble polymer particles. MPs come in various shapes, sizes, densities, and surface properties and there are concerns regarding the effects of microplastic particles exposure on human health as they are ubiquitous in our environment as well as in food and drinking water. There are different methods for MPs detection such as physical (microscopy techniques) and chemical (spectroscopy and thermal analysis) methods. While the mentioned methods are effective, they need complex and expensive devices, trained operators, and time-consuming techniques for MPs detection. The method reported here is based on a microfluidic chip for a self-powered triboelectric sensor for MPs detection. We designed and fabricated a microfluidic chip for microplastic detection from drinking water in this work. The microchip with the spiral geometry and minimum feature size of 300 ┬Ám was designed with a PDMS kit on a 3D printed mold. We observed differences in alternative voltage from an oscilloscope associated with the presence various MPs concentrations, providing proof-of-concept support for our microfluidic platform for applications in microplastics detection.