An optical detection module-based biosensor using fortified bacterial beads for soil toxicity assessment

Jin Woo Bae, Ho Bin Seo, Shimshon Belkin, Man Bock Gu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


An optical biosensor module for soil contamination assessment is presented, employing bioluminescent bacterial bioreporters encapsulated in poly-dopamine (PD)-coated alginate microbeads. The PD-coated beads displayed improved mechanical strength and stability, but somewhat delayed responses to the inducing toxicant. Using toluene as a model soil contaminant, two bioluminescent reporter strains were employed for its detection in the ambient light-blocking, temperature-controlled biosensor module. Bioluminescence of strain TV1061 (harboring an inducible grpE::luxCDABE fusion) increased and that of strain GC2 (harboring a constitutive lac::luxCDABE fusion) decreased in the presence of increasing toluene concentrations. In the former case, a maximal effect was observed in the presence of 1% toluene. This simple optical detection biosensor module may potentially be utilized for monitoring soil contamination from areas suspected of chemical pollution such petrochemical industrial zones or petrol stations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnalytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020 Jan 1



  • Biosensors
  • BTEX
  • Optical sensors
  • PD coating
  • Recombinant bioluminescent bacteria
  • Soil toxicity biosensor module

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry

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