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A microfluidic cigarette smoke collecting platform for simultaneous sample extraction and multiplex analysis

Hu, Shan-Wen, Xu, Bi-Yi, Qiao, Shu, Zhao, Ge, Xu, Jing-Juan, Chen, Hong-Yuan, Xie, Fu-Wei
Talanta 2016 v.150 pp. 455-462
air, air pollution, breathing, cigarettes, droplets, formaldehyde, hexanoic acid, humans, mass spectrometry, nicotine, pollutants, polydimethylsiloxane, smoke, solvents
In this work, we report a novel microfluidic gas collecting platform aiming at simultaneous sample extraction and multiplex mass spectrometry (MS) analysis. An alveolar-mimicking elastic polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) structures was designed to move dynamically driven by external pressure. The movement was well tuned both by its amplitude and rhythm following the natural process of human respiration. By integrating the alveolar units into arrays and assembling them to gas channels, a cyclic contraction/expansion system for gas inhale and exhale was successfully constructed. Upon equipping this system with a droplet array on the alveolar array surface, we were able to get information of inhaled smoke in a new strategy. Here, with cigarette smoke as an example, analysis of accumulation for target molecules during passive smoking is taken. Relationships between the breathing times, distances away from smokers and inhaled content of nicotine are clarified. Further, by applying different types of extraction solvent droplets on different locations of the droplet array, simultaneous extraction of nicotine, formaldehyde and caproic acid in sidestream smoke (SS) are realized. Since the extract droplets are spatially separated, they can be directly analyzed by MS which is fast and can rid us of all complex sample separation and purification steps. Combining all these merits, this small, cheap and portable platform might find wide application in inhaled air pollutant analysis both in and outdoors.