Quantitative detection of pharmaceuticals using a combination of paper microfluidics and wavelength modulated Raman spectroscopy

Derek Craig, Michael Mazilu and Kishan Dholakia.

PLoS ONE 10(5), e0123334 (2015)

doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0123334

Raman spectroscopy has proven to be an indispensable technique for the identification of various types of analytes due to the fingerprint vibration spectrum obtained. Paper microfluidics has also emerged as a low cost, easy to fabricate and portable approach for point of care testing. However, due to inherent background fluorescence, combining Raman spectroscopy with paper microfluidics is to date an unmet challenge in the absence of using surface enhanced mechanisms. We describe the first use of wavelength modulated Raman spectroscopy (WMRS) for analysis on a paper microfluidics platform. This study demonstrates the ability to suppress the background fluorescence of the paper using WMRS and the subsequent implementation of this technique for pharmaceutical analysis. The results of this study demonstrate that it is possible to discriminate between both paracetamol and ibuprofen, whilst, also being able to detect the presence of each analyte quantitatively at nanomolar concentrations.