Serum/plasma potassium monitoring using potentiometric point-of-care microanalyzers with improved ion selective electrodes

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Different causes can trigger imbalances on homeostatic mechanisms between intracellular and extracellular compartments resulting in abnormal blood potassium concentrations (hypo or hyperkalemia). This can lead to serious consequences, even a life-threatening situation. Early diagnosis, treatment and follow-up are essential to minimize critical impacts in patients. Bedside determination of blood potassium is not accessible in all health care centers or in all emergency departments and far less common in this kind of centers in emerging countries. We have therefore proposed a portable, economic and long-lifetime potentiometric point-of-care (POC) analytical microsystem to deal with this question. It is a continuous flow microfluidic platform, made of cyclic olefin copolymer (COC), which combines microfluidics and a detection system based on the potentiometric technique containing a potassium selective electrode with a novel composition of polymeric membrane, which improves lifetime. Its size is smaller than a credit card and shows a linear range of Nernst calibration equation from 1 to 26 mM K+, a detection limit of 0.16 mM K+, a satisfactory repeatability and reproducibility, and an analysis frequency of 20 samples h−1, requiring only 25 μL as sample volume. Moreover, lifetime is as long as 9 months by intensive use. All these features comply with medical requirements. Human serum samples were analyzed with the developed device and the obtained results were compared with those provided by two methods: ICP-OES and another using ion selective electrodes. No significant differences were observed, demonstrating the suitability of the developed POC microanalyzer for bedside health applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number124100
Number of pages7
Early online date17 Nov 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Nov 2022


  • Biological samples
  • Ion selective electrodes
  • Lab on a chip
  • Miniaturization
  • Point-of-care
  • Potassium

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