With the global industrialization, heavy metal ions have become significant factors of water pollution, which may cause serious damage to human health. However, the devices to measure the concentration of heavy metals are complex and expensive. Therefore, the aim of our project was to create a cheaper and portable device. In our project, we have applied several transcription factors which are sensitive to the concentration of copper ions and chromium ions to regulate the expression of protein ribB.RibB will enhance the production of riboflavin. Riboflavin, as the electron carrier, improves the electricity producing performance of the Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs). So in this way, we successfully correlated the concentration of heavy metal ions together with the output voltage of the MFC. This process is used within a convenient new device we created, Micro Holmes (a combination of MFC and electronic components), to monitor heavy metal ions in water sample any place any time.
We've done an investigation about water pollution in the past few months. Through street interviews and online questionnaires,369 valid replies were collected from 9 countries. Here's the conclusion: Although different countries have varying degrees of water pollution, people are uniformly worried about this. Accordingly, there is support, and even demand for a method that is both cheap and convenient to tell them whether their water is safe to drink. And that's the reason for this project.
We had constructed 14 different parts. All of them, including several ion sensors, have ribB CDS. Our experiments confirmed that the expression degree of ribB can influence the riboflavin production. Then we took them into MFC and the voltage showed that our genetically engineered E.coli responded to the change of Cu2+ concentration. Thus we linked the concentration of metal ion to the electricity production.
Based on the wet lab results, we constructed the Micro Holmes concentration measurement system' which contained a Microbial Fuel Cell, a Microprogrammed Control Unit, a voltage magnification circuit board, an Analogue-to-Digital Conversion chip, a set of input and output devices and one or several kinds of bacteria.
ribB protein is able to increase and stabilize electrical current generated by microbial fuel cells. Expression level of ribB is correlated with MFC voltage.
2.Heavy metals sensors
Copper, Mercury, zinc, chromium sensors were used to regulate ribB gene's expression in bio-engineered strains and concentrations of heavy metals are correlated with ribB protein production.
3.MFC voltage correlated with heavy metal ions
When grown our bio-engineered strains in the anode of MFC, voltage is correlated with heavy metal ion concentration.
4.A novel device for heavy metal ion detection/measurement
A novel device for heavy metal ion detection/measurement has been developed based on our findings. Comparing to current heavy metal measurement instruments, our device is simpler, cheaper and easier to use.
5.An innovative Human Practices activity
Through street interview and online questionnaires, 369 valid replies were collected from 30 provinces in China, and 9 different foreign countries. What's more the innovative public education activity garnered a huge response.
Register the team
The team LZU-China has been registered successfully.
We have investigated and addressed the issues related to water safety especially about water pollution.
We constructed the cheap and convenient device to measure the pollution.
The accessibility and portability have been demonstrated by other teams.
hrough street interview and online questionnaires, 369 valid replies were collected from 30 provinces in China, and 9 different foreign countries. What’s more the innovative public education activity garnered a huge response.More details