Chemostat-like microfluidic platform for highly sensitive detection of heavy metal ions using microbial biosensors

We describe a high-throughput, chemostat-like microfluidic platform for microbial biosensors

Minseok Kim

2014

Scholarcy highlights

  • Reporter-gene-based microbial biosensors have high potential for detecting small molecules, including heavy metal ions, in a sensitive and selective manner by involving low costs
  • We describe a high-throughput, chemostat-like microfluidic platform for microbial biosensors
  • The sensitivity for detecting lead and cadmium ions increases by approximately three orders of magnitude relative to conventional batch-type methods
  • The sensitivity and dynamic range of the sensing mechanism are largely limited by the conventional culture environment that relies on the batch-type addition of the small molecules in nutrients and the subsequent genetic induction of sensing microbes
  • We found that the microfluidic platform allowed microbial biosensors to be highly concentrated in a detection microchamber array and enabled them to continuously grow and control synthetic genetic circuits in response to heavy metals
  • We demonstrated that the combination of the platform and microbial biosensors enhanced the sensitivity for detecting divalent lead and cadmium ions by approximately three orders of magnitude relative to conventional batch-type methods
  • Because the platform is portable and only requires small sample volumes and fluorescent detection, the chemostat-like microfluidic platform in conjunction with microbial biosensors could be widely utilized to facilitate the specific and sensitive detection of molecular analytes on a chip

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