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Abstract

Access to safe drinking water is a human right, crucial to combat inequalities, reduce poverty and allow sustainable development. In many areas of the world, however, this right is not guaranteed, in part because of the lack of easily deployable diagnostic tools. Low-cost and simple methods to test water supplies onsite can protect vulnerable communities from the impact of contaminants in drinking water. Ideally such devices would also be easy to dispose of so as to leave no trace, or have a detrimental effect on the environment. To this aim, we here report the first paper microbial fuel cell (pMFC) fabricated by screen-printing biodegradable carbon-based electrodes onto a single sheet of paper, and demonstrate its use as a shock sensor for bioactive compounds (e.g. formaldehyde) in water. We also show a simple route to enhance the sensor performance by folding back-to-back two pMFCs electrically connected in parallel. This promising proof of concept work can lead to a revolutionizing way of testing water at point of use, which is not only green, easy-to-operate and rapid, but is also affordable to all.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-56
Number of pages8
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Volume102
Early online date3 Nov 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2018

Fingerprint

Bioelectric Energy Sources
Microbial fuel cells
Poisons
Biosensing Techniques
Biosensors
Potable water
Drinking Water
Printing
Screen printing
Water
Water Supply
Sensors
Conservation of Natural Resources
Poverty
Water supply
Formaldehyde
Sustainable development
Shock
Electrodes
Carbon

Keywords

  • microbial fuel cell, biosensor, paper electronics, water quality, formaldehyde

Cite this

A screen-printed paper microbial fuel cell biosensor for detection of toxic compounds in water. / Chouler, Jonathan; Cruz-Izquierdo, Alvaro; Rengaraj, Saravanan; Scott, Janet; Di Lorenzo, Mirella.

In: Biosensors and Bioelectronics, Vol. 102, 15.04.2018, p. 49-56.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Di Lorenzo, Mirella

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