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Sensors 2013, 13(12), 16075-16089; doi:10.3390/s131216075

A Label-Free Microfluidic Biosensor for Activity Detection of Single Microalgae Cells Based on Chlorophyll Fluorescence

1
College of Information and Science Technology, Dalian Maritime University, Dalian 116026, China
2
College of Marine Engineering, Dalian Maritime University, Dalian 116026, China
3
College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Dalian Maritime University, Dalian 116026, China
4
Department of Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L3G1, Canada
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 September 2013 / Revised: 21 October 2013 / Accepted: 8 November 2013 / Published: 26 November 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Opto-Microfluidics for Bio Applications)
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Abstract

Detection of living microalgae cells is very important for ballast water treatment and analysis. Chlorophyll fluorescence is an indicator of photosynthetic activity and hence the living status of plant cells. In this paper, we developed a novel microfluidic biosensor system that can quickly and accurately detect the viability of single microalgae cells based on chlorophyll fluorescence. The system is composed of a laser diode as an excitation light source, a photodiode detector, a signal analysis circuit, and a microfluidic chip as a microalgae cell transportation platform. To demonstrate the utility of this system, six different living and dead algae samples (Karenia mikimotoi Hansen, Chlorella vulgaris, Nitzschia closterium, Platymonas subcordiformis, Pyramidomonas delicatula and Dunaliella salina) were tested. The developed biosensor can distinguish clearly between the living microalgae cells and the dead microalgae cells. The smallest microalgae cells that can be detected by using this biosensor are 3 μm ones. Even smaller microalgae cells could be detected by increasing the excitation light power. The developed microfluidic biosensor has great potential for in situ ballast water analysis.
Keywords: label-free fluorescent sensor; microalgae cell activity; microfluidic chip; chlorophyll fluorescence label-free fluorescent sensor; microalgae cell activity; microfluidic chip; chlorophyll fluorescence
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Wang, J.; Sun, J.; Song, Y.; Xu, Y.; Pan, X.; Sun, Y.; Li, D. A Label-Free Microfluidic Biosensor for Activity Detection of Single Microalgae Cells Based on Chlorophyll Fluorescence. Sensors 2013, 13, 16075-16089.

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