Integration of spore-based genetically engineered whole-cell sensing systems into portable centrifugal microfluidic platforms

Amol Date, Patrizia Pasini, Sylvia Daunert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Bacterial whole-cell biosensing systems provide important information about the bioavailable amount of target analytes. They are characterized by high sensitivity and specificity/selectivity along with rapid response times and amenability to miniaturization as well as high-throughput analysis. Accordingly, they have been employed in various environmental and clinical applications. The use of spore-based sensing systems offers the unique advantage of long-term preservation of the sensing cells by taking advantage of the environmental resistance and ruggedness of bacterial spores. In this work, we have incorporated spore-based whole-cell sensing systems into centrifugal compact disk (CD) microfluidic platforms in order to develop a portable sensing system, which should enable the use of these hardy sensors for fast on-field analysis of compounds of interest. For that, we have employed two spore-based sensing systems for the detection of arsenite and zinc, respectively, and evaluated their analytical performance in the miniaturized microfluidic format. Furthermore, we have tested environmental and clinical samples on the CD microfluidic platforms using the spore-based sensors. Germination of spores and quantitative response to the analyte could be obtained in 2.5-3 h, depending on the sensing system, with detection limits of 1∈×∈10-7 M for arsenite and 1∈×∈10-6 M for zinc in both serum and fresh water samples. Incorporation of spore-based whole-cell biosensing systems on microfluidic platforms enabled the rapid and sensitive detection of the analytes and is expected to facilitate the on-site use of such sensing systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-356
Number of pages8
JournalAnalytical and bioanalytical chemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Centrifugal microfluidic platforms
  • Environmental and clinical samples
  • On-site analysis
  • Portable analytical devices
  • Spores
  • Whole-cell sensing systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry


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