Portable Explosive Chemical Detection Device

Five-channel PMD configured to test for RDX, TNT, UN, NO3-, and H2O2

Five-channel PMD configured to test for 5 different explosive compounds and/or precusors

Florida International University (FIU) is pursuing commercial partners interested in developing Portable Explosive Chemical Detection Devices. These microfluidic Paper-based Analytical Devices (PADs) allow for at least five different chemicals to be tested simultaneously. Using the PADS on location testing is feasible. The PADs are portable, easy to use, requiring a small sample size, and provide a fast reaction response.

Current detection techniques require large, and expensive pieces of equipment that are largely not portable. Additionally, chemical compound properties of the sample may be lost during the sample preparation process by being absorbed in the filtration process or deteriorate when exposed to the extraction solution.

Researchers at FIU have discovered a cheaper, faster, and more efficient way to test chemicals used in homemade explosives pre and post explosion. The technology is amenable to the performance of multiple analyses facilitating detection of different chemical on a single test. Multiple analytes on the same PAD allow for different chemical detections. A single analyte may be tested several ways within the same PAD reducing the incidence of false positives. The different colors and intensities of the reactions allow for accurate interpretations of the testing results.


Testing for a variety of chemical compounds used in a homemade explosive device pre and post explosion. In a laboratory setting the PADs can be used to triage evidence and prioritize instrumental analyses to maximize the amount of information generated from a limited sample volume.

  • Portable, efficient, and easy to use
  • Reduces the costs of testing
  • Provides a quick test response on location
  • Requires a small sample size
  • Ability to test multiple analytes

For additional information about this technology opportunity, please contact Elizabeth Garami at egarami@fiu.edu or by phone at 305-348-0008 and ask about record IP 1227.