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Biosensors 2017, 7(3), 31; doi:10.3390/bios7030031

An Affordable Microsphere-Based Device for Visual Assessment of Water Quality

1
Biomedical Engineering program, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8W 2Y2, Canada
2
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8W 2Y2, Canada
3
Division of Medical Sciences, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8W 2Y2, Canada
4
Centre for Biomedical Research, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8W 2Y2, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 July 2017 / Revised: 29 July 2017 / Accepted: 2 August 2017 / Published: 5 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials Based Optical Biosensors)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2946 KB, uploaded 7 August 2017]   |  

Abstract

This work developed a prototype of an affordable, long-term water quality detection device that provides a visual readout upon detecting bacterial contamination. This device prototype consists of: (1) enzyme-releasing microspheres that lyse bacteria present in a sample, (2) microspheres that release probes that bind the DNA of the lysed bacteria, and (3) a detector region consisting of gold nanoparticles. The probes bind bacterial DNA, forming complexes. These complexes induce aggregation of the gold nanoparticles located in the detector region. The nanoparticle aggregation process causes a red to blue color change, providing a visual indicator of contamination being detected. Our group fabricated and characterized microspheres made of poly (ε-caprolactone) that released lysozyme (an enzyme that degrades bacterial cell walls) and hairpin DNA probes that bind to regions of the Escherichia coli genome over a 28-day time course. The released lysozyme retained its ability to lyse bacteria. We then showed that combining these components with gold nanoparticles followed by exposure to an E. coli-contaminated water sample (concentrations tested—106 and 108 cells/mL) resulted in a dramatic red to blue color change. Overall, this device represents a novel low-cost system for long term detection of bacteria in a water supply and other applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: water quality; global health; colorimetric assay; drug delivery; microspheres; nanoparticles water quality; global health; colorimetric assay; drug delivery; microspheres; nanoparticles
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Rajwani, A.; Restall, B.; Muller, N.J.; Roebuck, S.; Willerth, S.M. An Affordable Microsphere-Based Device for Visual Assessment of Water Quality. Biosensors 2017, 7, 31.

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