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Open AccessArticle

Demonstration of Tryptophan-Like Fluorescence Sensor Concepts for Fecal Exposure Detection in Drinking Water in Remote and Resource Constrained Settings

1
Mortenson Center in Global Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO 80303, USA
2
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(9), 3768; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093768
Received: 8 February 2020 / Revised: 9 April 2020 / Accepted: 30 April 2020 / Published: 6 May 2020
Low-cost, field-deployable, near-time methods for assessing water quality are not available when and where waterborne infection risks are greatest. We describe the development and testing of a novel device for the measurement of tryptophan-like fluorescence (TLF), making use of recent advances in deep-ultraviolet light emitting diodes (UV-LEDs) and sensitive semiconductor photodiodes and photomultipliers. TLF is an emerging indicator of water quality that is associated with members of the coliform group of bacteria and therefore potential fecal contamination. Following the demonstration of close correlation between TLF and E. coli in model waters and proof of principle with sensitivity of 4 CFU/mL for E. coli, we further developed a two-LED flow-through configuration capable of detecting TLF levels corresponding to “high risk” fecal contamination levels (>10 CFU/100 mL). Findings to date suggest that this device represents a scalable solution for remote monitoring of drinking water supplies to identify high-risk drinking water in near-time. Such information can be immediately actionable to reduce risks. View Full-Text
Keywords: water quality; E. coli; tryptophan-like fluorescence; sensor water quality; E. coli; tryptophan-like fluorescence; sensor
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bedell, E.; Sharpe, T.; Purvis, T.; Brown, J.; Thomas, E. Demonstration of Tryptophan-Like Fluorescence Sensor Concepts for Fecal Exposure Detection in Drinking Water in Remote and Resource Constrained Settings. Sustainability 2020, 12, 3768. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093768

AMA Style

Bedell E, Sharpe T, Purvis T, Brown J, Thomas E. Demonstration of Tryptophan-Like Fluorescence Sensor Concepts for Fecal Exposure Detection in Drinking Water in Remote and Resource Constrained Settings. Sustainability. 2020; 12(9):3768. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093768

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bedell, Emily; Sharpe, Taylor; Purvis, Timothy; Brown, Joe; Thomas, Evan. 2020. "Demonstration of Tryptophan-Like Fluorescence Sensor Concepts for Fecal Exposure Detection in Drinking Water in Remote and Resource Constrained Settings" Sustainability 12, no. 9: 3768. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093768

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