The pH values of aqueous solutions are conventionally measured with pH-sensitive electrodes such as glass electrodes or ion-sensitive field-effect transistors (ISFETs) used in conjunction with Ag/AgCl reference electrodes and KCl solutions. The speed of pH measurement with these systems can be deficient, however, as the glass electrode responds slowly during measurements of sample solutions with low buffering capacities. Our group has constructed a new pH measurement system using a microfluidic device and ISFET sensors. The device has a channel with two inlets and one outlet, with a junction connected to a Y-shaped channel on the same plane. Two ISFET sensors and an Ag/AgCl pseudo reference electrode are fitted into the channel to construct a differential measurement device. A sample solution and baseline solution supplied into the inlets by gravity-driven pumps form a flowing liquid junction during measurement. The small size and fast response of the ISFET sensors enable measurement of about 2.0 mL of sample solution over a measurement period of 120 s. The 90% response time is within 2 s. The calibrated sensor signal exhibits a wide range (pH 1.68–10.0) of linearity with a correlation factor of 0.9997. The measurement error for all solutions tested, including diluted solutions, was 0.0343 ± 0.0974 pH (average error ± standard deviation (S.D.), n = 42). The new device developed in this research will serve as an innovative technology in the field of potentiometry. View Full-Text
Akira Yamada * and Miho Suzuki
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Aichi Institute of Technology, Toyota 470-0392, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 April 2017 / Revised: 10 June 2017 / Accepted: 2 July 2017 / Published: 4 July 2017