countdownmail.com

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

Share this Article

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

Dr. Di Lorenzo also stated that an added benefit of the device is that results are immediate. “This means we are able to monitor the level of pollutants in the water in real time without having to collect multiple samples and take them to a laboratory.”

water-feat

Currently, researchers analyze the effects of water pollution by studying how the polluted water reacts with fish or plankton. They also use a very sensitive process called mass spectrometry to measure water pollution. This process requires special equipment that can be very expensive and require care and operation by an expert. Both of these methods of measuring water pollution are costly and complex. The fact that this new device is cheap and accurate is the primary reason that this 3D printing breakthrough that  the University of Bath and University of the West of England, will be a major help to those in developing countries.

The team’s research is published in the Biosensors and Bioelectric journal, titled ‘A small-scale air-cathode microbial fuel cell for on-line monitoring of water quality’. Let’s hear your thoughts on these biosensors, and what they could mean for drinking water safety in the 3D printed water sensor forum thread on 3DPB.com.

 

Share this Article


Recent News

Pioneering 3D Printed Wrist Prosthesis for Kienbock’s Disease

Metal 3D Printing Research: Using the Discrete Element Method to Study Powder Spreading



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

thyssenkrupp Collaborating with Impact Labs on New Israeli Metal 3D Printing Center

German company thyssenkrupp is a diversified industrial group, supplying reliable solutions, services, and products to its many global customers in a wide variety of industries: from automotive, chemicals, and construction...

3D Printing News Briefs: December 3, 2019

We’re starting today’s 3D Printing News Briefs out with a new case study, and then concluding with some business. CRP USA has been working with additive manufacturing in the motorsports...

3D Printing Unicorns, Part 3: Desktop Metal

When a privately held startup hits $1 billion in value, it magically transforms from an ugly mare into a beautiful unicorn (or so the legend goes). In the 3D printing...

Sandvik and Renishaw Qualifying New 3D Printing Materials for Production Applications

Founded in 1862, Swedish company Sandvik has been investing in metal 3D printing since 2013, working to increase its focus on the technology and grow its presence in the industry....


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.


Services & Data

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our 3DPrint.com.

You have Successfully Subscribed!