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Proceedings Paper

Biosensor for remote monitoring of airborne toxins
Author(s): George K. Knopf; Amarjeet S. Bassi; Shikha Singh; Roslyn Macleod
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Paper Abstract

The rapid detection of toxic contaminants released into the air by chemical processing facilities is a high priority for many manufacturers. This paper describes a novel biosensor for the remote monitoring of toxic sites. The proposed biosensor is a measurement system that employs immobilized luminescent Vibrio fisheri bacteria to detect airborne contaminants. The presence of toxic chemicals will lead to a detectable decrease in the intensity of light produced by the bacteria. Both cellular and environmental factors control the bioluminescence of these bacteria. Important design factors are the appropriate cell growth media, environmental toxicity, oxygen and cell concentrations. The luminescent bacteria are immobilized on polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) gels and placed inside a specially constructed, miniature flow cell which houses a transducer, power source, and transmitter to convert the light signal information into radio frequencies that are picked up by a receiver at a remote location. The biosensor prototype is designed to function either as a single unit mounted on an exploratory robot or numerous units spatially distributed throughout a contaminated environment for remote sensing applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 December 1999
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 3853, Environmental Monitoring and Remediation Technologies II, (21 December 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.372852
Show Author Affiliations
George K. Knopf, Univ. of Western Ontario (Canada)
Amarjeet S. Bassi, Univ. of Western Ontario (Canada)
Shikha Singh, Univ. of Western Ontario (Canada)
Roslyn Macleod, Univ. of Western Ontario (Canada)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3853:
Environmental Monitoring and Remediation Technologies II
Tuan Vo-Dinh; Robert L. Spellicy, Editor(s)

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