Research Article


2018, 11(1): 114–125


Bioluminescent nanopaper for rapid screening of toxic substances

Jie Liu1,2, Eden Morales-Narváez1, Jahir Orozco1, Teresa Vicent3, Guohua Zhong2 (*), and Arben Merkoi1,4 (*)

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1 Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), CSIC and the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology, Campus UAB, Bellaterra, 08193 Barcelona, Spain
2 Laboratory of Insect Toxicology, Key Laboratory of Pesticide and Chemical Biology, Ministry of Education, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China
3 Departament d’Enginyeria Química, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Barcelona 08193, Spain
4 ICREA, Pg. Lluís Companys 23, 08010 Barcelona, Spain

Keywords: bacterial nanocellulose, nanopaper, Aliivibrio fischeri, bioluminescent device, toxicity bioassay
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ABSTRACT Environmental pollution is threatening human health and ecosystems as a result of modern agricultural techniques and industrial progress. A simple nanopaper-based platform coupled with luminescent bacteria Aliivibrio fischeri (A. fischeri) as a bio-indicator is presented here, for rapid and sensitive evaluation of contaminant toxicity. When exposed to toxicants, the luminescence inhibition of A. fischeri-decorated bioluminescent nanopaper (BLN) can be quantified and analyzed to classify the toxicity level of a pollutant. The BLN composite was characterized in terms of morphology and functionality. Given the outstanding biocompatibility of nanocellulose for bacterial proliferation, BLN achieved high sensitivity with a low cost and simplified procedure compared to conventional instruments for laboratory use only. The broad applicability of BLN devices to environmental samples was studied in spiked real matrices (lake and sea water), and their potential for direct and in situ toxicity screening was demonstrated. The BLN architecture not only survives but also maintains its function during freezing and recycling processes, endowing the BLN system with competitive advantages as a deliverable, ready-to-use device for large-scale manufacturing. The novel luminescent bacteria-immobilized, nanocelullose-based device shows outstanding abilities for toxicity bioassays of hazardous compounds, bringing new possibilities for cheap and efficient environmental monitoring of potential contamination.
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Bioluminescent nanopaper for rapid screening of toxic substances. Nano Res. 2018, 11(1): 114–125

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