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Open AccessArticle

A Microfluidic Device for Continuous Sensing of Systemic Acute Toxicants in Drinking Water

Department of Micro and Nano Systems Technology (IMST), Faculty of Technology and Maritime Sciences (TekMar), Vestfold University College (HiVE), Tønsberg N3103, Norway
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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 6748-6763; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10126748
Received: 5 September 2013 / Revised: 18 November 2013 / Accepted: 27 November 2013 / Published: 3 December 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances on Environmental and Toxicologic Pathology)
A bioluminescent-cell-based microfluidic device for sensing toxicants in drinking water was designed and fabricated. The system employed Vibrio fischeri cells as broad-spectrum sensors to monitor potential systemic cell toxicants in water, such as heavy metal ions and phenol. Specifically, the chip was designed for continuous detection. The chip design included two counter-flow micromixers, a T-junction droplet generator and six spiral microchannels. The cell suspension and water sample were introduced into the micromixers and dispersed into droplets in the air flow. This guaranteed sufficient oxygen supply for the cell sensors. Copper (Cu2+), zinc (Zn2+), potassium dichromate and 3,5-dichlorophenol were selected as typical toxicants to validate the sensing system. Preliminary tests verified that the system was an effective screening tool for acute toxicants although it could not recognize or quantify specific toxicants. A distinct non-linear relationship was observed between the zinc ion concentration and the Relative Luminescence Units (RLU) obtained during testing. Thus, the concentration of simple toxic chemicals in water can be roughly estimated by this system. The proposed device shows great promise for an early warning system for water safety. View Full-Text
Keywords: microfluidic device; Vibrio fischeri; cell toxicity; bioluminescence; counter-flow micromixer microfluidic device; Vibrio fischeri; cell toxicity; bioluminescence; counter-flow micromixer
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Zhao, X.; Dong, T. A Microfluidic Device for Continuous Sensing of Systemic Acute Toxicants in Drinking Water. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 6748-6763.

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