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Biosensors to Monitor Water Quality Utilizing Insect Odorant-Binding Proteins as Detector Elements

1
Inscent, Inc., 17905 Sky Park CIR STE P, Irvine, CA 92614, USA
2
Department of Biology, Natural Sciences Division, Fullerton College, Fullerton, CA 92832, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Biosensors 2019, 9(2), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios9020062
Received: 6 April 2019 / Revised: 7 May 2019 / Accepted: 8 May 2019 / Published: 14 May 2019
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Abstract

In the developing world, the identification of clean, potable water continues to pose a pervasive challenge, and waterborne diseases due to fecal contamination of water supplies significantly threaten public health. The ability to efficiently monitor local water supplies is key to water safety, yet no low-cost, reliable method exists to detect contamination quickly. We developed an in vitro assay utilizing an odorant-binding protein (OBP), AgamOBP1, from the mosquito, Anopheles gambiae, to test for the presence of a characteristic metabolite, indole, from harmful coliform bacteria. We demonstrated that recombinantly expressed AgamOBP1 binds indole with high sensitivity. Our proof-of-concept assay is fluorescence-based and demonstrates the usefulness of insect OBPs as detector elements in novel biosensors that rapidly detect the presence of bacterial metabolic markers, and thus of coliform bacteria. We further demonstrated that rAgamOBP1 is suitable for use in portable, inexpensive “dipstick” biosensors that improve upon lateral flow technology since insect OBPs are robust, easily obtainable via recombinant expression, and resist detector “fouling.” Moreover, due to their wide diversity and ligand selectivity, insect chemosensory proteins have other biosensor applications for various analytes. The techniques presented here therefore represent platform technologies applicable to various future devices. View Full-Text
Keywords: biosensor; insect; odorant-binding; protein; coliform; fecal contamination; chemosensory; water biosensor; insect; odorant-binding; protein; coliform; fecal contamination; chemosensory; water
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Dimitratos, S.D.; Hommel, A.S.; Konrad, K.D.; Simpson, L.M.; Wu-Woods, J.J.; Woods, D.F. Biosensors to Monitor Water Quality Utilizing Insect Odorant-Binding Proteins as Detector Elements. Biosensors 2019, 9, 62.

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