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A portable bioelectronic sensing system (BESSY) for environmental deployment incorporating differential microbial sensing in miniaturized reactors.

PLoS One. 2017;12(9):e0184994

Authors: Zhou AY, Baruch M, Ajo-Franklin CM, Maharbiz MM

Abstract
Current technologies are lacking in the area of deployable, in situ monitoring of complex chemicals in environmental applications. Microorganisms metabolize various chemical compounds and can be engineered to be analyte-specific making them naturally suited for robust chemical sensing. However, current electrochemical microbial biosensors use large and expensive electrochemistry equipment not suitable for on-site, real-time environmental analysis. Here we demonstrate a miniaturized, autonomous bioelectronic sensing system (BESSY) suitable for deployment for instantaneous and continuous sensing applications. We developed a 2×2 cm footprint, low power, two-channel, three-electrode electrochemical potentiostat which wirelessly transmits data for on-site microbial sensing. Furthermore, we designed a new way of fabricating self-contained, submersible, miniaturized reactors (m-reactors) to encapsulate the bacteria, working, and counter electrodes. We have validated the BESSY’s ability to specifically detect a chemical amongst environmental perturbations using differential current measurements. This work paves the way for in situ microbial sensing outside of a controlled laboratory environment.

PMID: 28915277 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]