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Proceedings Paper

Novel microfluidic system for online monitoring of biofilm dynamics by electrical impedance spectroscopy and amperometry
Author(s): Julia Bruchmann; Kai Sachsenheimer; Thomas Schwartz; Bastian E. Rapp
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Paper Abstract

Biofilm formation is ubiquitous in nature where microorganisms attach to surfaces and form highly adapted and protected communities. In technical and industrial systems like drinking water supply, food production or shipping industry biofilms are a major cause of product contamination, biofouling, and biocorrosion. Therefore, understanding of biofilm formation and means of preventing biofilm formation is important to develop novel biofilm treatment strategies. A system allowing directly online detection and monitoring biofilm formation is necessary. However, until today, there are little to none technical systems featuring a non-destructive real-time characterization of biofilm formation in a highthroughput manner.

This paper presents such a microfluidic system based on electrical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and amperomertic current measurement. The sensor consists of four modules, each housing 24 independent electrodes within 12 microfluidic channels. Attached biomass on the electrodes is monitored as increased inhibition in charge transfer by EIS and a change in metabolic activity is measured as change in produced electric current by amperometry.

This modular sensor system is highly adaptable and suitable for a broad range of microbiological applications. Among others, biofilm formation processes can be characterized online, biofilm manipulation like inactivation or destabilization can be monitored in real-time and gene expression can be analyzed in parallel. The use of different electrode designs allows effective biofilm studies during all biofilm phases.

The whole system was recently extended by an integrated pneumatic microfluidic pump which enables easy handling procedures. Further developments of this pumping module will allow a fully- automated computer-controlled valving and pumping.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 March 2016
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 9705, Microfluidics, BioMEMS, and Medical Microsystems XIV, 97050H (18 March 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2206104
Show Author Affiliations
Julia Bruchmann, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany)
Kai Sachsenheimer, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany)
Thomas Schwartz, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany)
Bastian E. Rapp, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9705:
Microfluidics, BioMEMS, and Medical Microsystems XIV
Bonnie L. Gray; Holger Becker, Editor(s)

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