Scientists in England 3D Print BioSensor That Can Immediately Tell If Water Is Clean

Scientists in England have a way to help people in developing countries make sure their drinking water is safe. Researchers from the University of Bath’s Department of Chemical Engineering and Bristol Robotics Laboratory waterat the University of the West of England have created a sensor, which is reportedly safe to use in rivers and lakes for round-the-clock water quality assessment.

The device, which was designed and printed using 3D printing technology, is essentially a fuel cell filled with bacteria. The bacteria live, feed and reproduce inside the fuel cell. When they eat and grow, they produce a small, measurable electrical charge. When bacteria in the sensor come into contact with contaminated water, the electrical current decreases a noticeable amount. This change is enough to alert someone that his water is not safe for drinking.

In their laboratory trials, the research team was able to use the sensor to detect pollutants such as cadmium. Cadmium is a toxic by-product of the electronics industry. It produces a number of health problems in those exposed to it and is a known carcinogen. Dr. Mirella Di Lorenzo, Lecturer in Chemical Engineering at Bath, said the biosensor is a simple, but useful warning system. “Because this system uses live bacteria, it acts a bit like a canary in a mine, showing how these chemicals affect living organisms,” he stated. … (Read more)

Source: 3DPrint.com