Submitted to: Society Of Experimental Biological Medicine Proceedings
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 9, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Abundant agricultural commodities and residues are potential bases for bioconversion to numerous value-added co-products, including sugars, chemicals and ethanol. However, practical new technologies are needed to detect and monitor these co-products in real-time under field and factory conditions. Currently available methods frequently suffer from slow response times, high maintenance and high cost. We constructed and tested biosensors (electronic instruments utilizing bacterial cells) for detection of various co-products. Biosensors were reliable and simple to operate and showed excellent potential for measurement of several compounds. This work will be of interest to manufacturers seeking new uses for agricultural materials, and will in turn benefit farmers by fostering new and expanded markets for their commodities.
A major objective of modern analytical chemistry is the development of rapid and inexpensive methods for the detection and quantitation of organic substances in diverse media. Recent studies suggest that biosensors, exploiting enzyme activities contained in intact microbial cells, will play a role in achieving this objective. Bacteria of the genus Gluconobacter are particularly promising for use in biosensors because they are known to rapidly oxidize more than 80 organic substances, accumulating extracellular oxidation products that may be detected by sensors. In the current study, whole-cell biosensors were tested for analysis of aldoses (glucose, xylose), alcohols (ethanol) and polyols (glycerol). Both amperometric and potentiometric sensors were successfully constructed. Sensors based on whole cells of Gluconobacter have potential applications that include the determination of glucose in blood plasma, glycerol in fermentation media, and ethanol in vapors.