Dynamics of an Electrochemical Biosensor for the Detection of Toxic Substances in Water



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A proposed analytical method focuses on electrolyte transport to the electrode of an electrochemical cell. The recombinant Escherichia coli whole-cell biosensor detects toxicity in water based on a set of biochemical reactors. Previous contributions elucidated the kinetics of product formation and validated a mathematical model for its diffusion in the chamber. This work introduces an approach to investigate the dynamics of the probe using Laplace transforms and an effective time constant. The transfer function between the electrolyte production and the total current revealed a faster response for larger electrode radii. Both the first-order and effective time constants increased with the chamber height and radius. Separation of variables yields closed-form solutions and helps estimate the kinetics of p-aminophenol generation. When the bacteria were exposed to phenol concentrations of 1.6, 8.3 and 16 ppm, the corresponding overall rate constants were 5.11x10(-7), 1.13x10(-6) and 1.99x10(-6) (product concentration unit/s(2)), respectively. In addition to parameter estimation, the method can be applied to perform sensitivity analysis and aid manufacturers in meeting design specifications of biosensors.


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