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Biotechnol Adv. 2003 Dec;22(1-2):27-33.

On-line and in situ biosensors for monitoring environmental pollution.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel.


Efficient tools for on-line and in situ monitoring of environmental pollutants are required to provide early warning systems. In addition, such tools can contribute important information on the progress of various remediation treatments. One of the recently developed monitoring technologies involves the use of whole-cell biosensors. Such biosensors could be constructed to detect general toxicity or specific toxicity caused by one or more pollutants. Currently, a large spectrum of microbial biosensors have been developed that enable the monitoring of pollutants by measuring light, fluorescence, color or electric current. Electrochemical monitoring is of special interest for in situ measurements as it can be performed using simple, compact and mobile equipment and is easily adaptable for on-line measurements. Here we survey the potential application of electrochemical biosensors in monitoring of general toxicity as well as hydrocarbons and heavy metals.

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