UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Detection of norfloxacin and nitrite in foods using a paper-based microfluidic device coupled with smartphone application software Trofimchuk, Evan


Meat contamination is a severe public health risk and therefore the development of highly precise, rapid, and reliable monitoring devices are necessary. Chemical hazards in meat products such as the presence of nitrites and norfloxacin residues have potentially carcinogenic, toxic, and/or allergenic effects when exceeding threshold limits set by governing health agencies. Conventional methods to monitor meat contaminants are often laborious and require highly skilled personnel, making the quest for developing simpler and more cost-effective techniques for rapid monitoring incessant. The aim of this project was to create simple-to-use, easily accessible, cheap, and accurate methods of improving food safety for meat consumers while increasing manufacturer-consumer transparency. Paper-based colorimetric microfluidic devices capable of semi-quantifying trace levels of nitrite and antibiotic residues in different food matrices were designed and created. The detection of both nitrite and norfloxacin was achieved via specific chromogenic reactions between these chemical hazards and chromogenic reagents on wax-printed filter paper. Wax was used in order to create hydrophobic-hydrophilic channels in which meat juice travelled passively to the detection zones via capillary forces. To increase the limit of detection, the formation of the coffee ring effect was optimized via specific reaction parameters and the photos of the reaction zones were subsequently captured, uploaded to ImageJ processing software, and analyzed. Both reactions were able to be completed within 20 minutes.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International