The relevance of the problem of urine tampering is well-known in forensic toxicology, with sample dilution being the most used method to cheat toxicological controls. Among the criteria to assess urine integrity, the quantification of creatinine probably represents the most popular method. The present paper presents a simple and low-cost analytical device for on-site creatinine determination as first-line screening for urine dilution. The proposed microfluidic devices were designed as a three-dimensional origami pattern. The device included three colorimetric reactions based on picric acid (PA-based reagent), 3,5-dinitrobenzoic acid (DNBA-based reagent), and Nessler’s reagent. The last one, to the best of our knowledge, has never been used before for creatinine determination. In order to assure the highest ease and economy of operation, the color detection and data processing were performed using a built-in smartphone camera and the associated software. The optimized device showed a detection limit of 0.02 g/L. The proposed method was used for the qualitative screening for urine dilution of 48 samples, showing a diagnostic sensitivity and specificity for PA-based, DNBA-based and Nessler’s reagent of 83.3%-80.0%, 72.2%-70.0%, and 100.0%-93.3% respectively, versus reference enzymatic method adopting a cut-off of 0.2 g/L. In conclusion, the present preliminary study shows that the proposed device could be a useful tool for on-site screening for urine tampering at the time of sample collection for toxicological testing.

An origami microfluidic paper device for on-site assessment of urine tampering. First use of Nessler's reagent for the colorimetric determination of creatinine

Giacomo Musile
;
Yvane Agard;Sara Pesavento;Elio F. De Palo;Federica Bortolotti
2023

Abstract

The relevance of the problem of urine tampering is well-known in forensic toxicology, with sample dilution being the most used method to cheat toxicological controls. Among the criteria to assess urine integrity, the quantification of creatinine probably represents the most popular method. The present paper presents a simple and low-cost analytical device for on-site creatinine determination as first-line screening for urine dilution. The proposed microfluidic devices were designed as a three-dimensional origami pattern. The device included three colorimetric reactions based on picric acid (PA-based reagent), 3,5-dinitrobenzoic acid (DNBA-based reagent), and Nessler’s reagent. The last one, to the best of our knowledge, has never been used before for creatinine determination. In order to assure the highest ease and economy of operation, the color detection and data processing were performed using a built-in smartphone camera and the associated software. The optimized device showed a detection limit of 0.02 g/L. The proposed method was used for the qualitative screening for urine dilution of 48 samples, showing a diagnostic sensitivity and specificity for PA-based, DNBA-based and Nessler’s reagent of 83.3%-80.0%, 72.2%-70.0%, and 100.0%-93.3% respectively, versus reference enzymatic method adopting a cut-off of 0.2 g/L. In conclusion, the present preliminary study shows that the proposed device could be a useful tool for on-site screening for urine tampering at the time of sample collection for toxicological testing.
paper-based microfluidics devices (µPADs); Creatinine; Urine adulteration; Urine tampering; Forensic toxicology
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1078768
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