New microbial biosensor to assess water toxicity

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September 2016

Innotex Center/CRIT has collaborated with researchers at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) and the National Microelectronics Centre (IMB-CNM) of the CSIC to develop a biosensor based on paper impregnated with bacteria to detect water toxicity. This innovative, simple, low-cost biological tool can detect a wide range of pollutants and is easy to use in contexts where there the budget is limited or in developing countries. The bioassay detects any pollutant that is toxic to microorganisms in the assay time (15-20 minutes), such as heavy metals and hydrocarbons such as petroleum or benzene.

Innotex Center/CRIT was responsible for preparing the samples of natural water and leachates from contaminated soils and for the assays. Toxicity was monitored using the bioluminescence assay and the Vibrio fischeri bacterium (Microtox® method) to validate the new system.


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