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This paper summarizes ongoing research leading to the development of an Upset Early Warning Device (UEWD) designed to predict activated sludge deflocculation or biofilm detachment caused by electrophilic chemicals into wastewaters. This biosensor concept is based on a previously demonstrated response which shows that potassium is effluxed within seconds from electrophile-stressed bacterial cells, and that this potassium efflux correlates with activated sludge deflocculation and biofilm detachment. The UEWD is a microfluidic device constructed of a polyethylene terephthalate glycol substratum and polyester lid, and incorporates in-channel posts to enhance bacterial immobilization in the channels. Escherichia coli K-12 is immobilized into the channel, and changes in potassium levels in the wastewater flowing through the channel are detected using an ionophore/chromoionophore coupled optode. Preliminary results from an early prototype of the device are presented.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2001-01-01

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