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Tag: Biosensors
  • A 𝘬-Means Analysis of the Voltage Response of a Soil-Based Microbial Fuel Cell to an Injected Military-Relevant Compound (Urea)

    Abstract: Biotechnology offers new ways to use biological processes as environmental sensors. For example, in soil microbial fuel cells (MFCs), soil electro-genic microorganisms are recruited to electrodes embedded in soil and produce electricity (measured by voltage) through the breakdown of substrate. Because the voltage produced by the electrogenic microbes is a function of their environment, we hypothesize that the voltage may change in a characteristic manner given environmental disturbances, such as the contamination by exogenous material, in a way that can be modelled and serve as a diagnostic. In this study, we aimed to statistically analyze voltage from soil MFCs injected with urea as a proxy for gross contamination. Specifically, we used 𝘬-means clustering to discern between voltage output before and after the injection of urea. Our results showed that the 𝘬-means algorithm recognized 4–6 distinctive voltage regions, defining unique periods of the MFC voltage that clearly identify pre- and postinjection and other phases of the MFC lifecycle. This demonstrates that 𝘬-means can identify voltage patterns temporally, which could be further improve the sensing capabilities of MFCs by identifying specific regions of dissimilarity in voltage, indicating changes in the environment.
  • PUBLICATION NOTICE: Autonomous QUerying And PATHogen Threat Agent Sensor System (AQUA PATH): Monitoring Source Waters with Geospatially Wirelessly Networked Distributed Sensing Systems

    Abstract: Contaminants serve as health risks to recreational water, potable water, and marine life that result in undocumented effects on population exposure. In many areas of the world, the concern lies in contaminated drinking water, which would immediately effect social and economic order. As research advances for innovative solutions, the deployment of automated systems for source water monitoring could reduce the risk of exposure. Water quality monitoring typically involves sample collection and analyses that are performed in a laboratory setting. These results are normally presented after an 18−48 hr period. This report details the prototyped Autonomous QUerying And PATHogen threat agent sensor (AQUA PATH) geoenabled system that is able to detect the presence/absence of pathogenic bacteria indicators in source waters and report these values in the field, in less than 30 minutes. The AQUA PATH system establishes rapid field data collection and reports assessment of source waters bacterial loads at near shore inner coastal locations, which makes a leap forward compared to current presence/absence tests standards established by the EPA.