Biosensors & bioelectronics

Real-time monitoring of geosmin and 2-methylisoborneol, representative odor compounds in water pollution using bioelectronic nose with human-like performance.

PMID 26143459


A bioelectronic nose for the real-time assessment of water quality was constructed with human olfactory receptor (hOR) and single-walled carbon nanotube field-effect transistor (swCNT-FET). Geosmin (GSM) and 2-methylisoborneol (MIB), mainly produced by bacteria, are representative odor compounds and also indicators of contamination in the water supply system. For the screening of hORs which respond to these compounds, we performed CRE-luciferase assays of the two odorants in heterologous cell system. Human OR51S1 for GSM and OR3A4 for MIB were selected, and nanovesicles expressing the hORs on surface were produced from HEK-293 cell. Carbon nanotube field-effect transistor was functionalized with the nanovesicles. The bioelectronic nose was able to selectively detect GSM and MIB at concentrations as low as a 10 ng L(-1). Furthermore, detection of these compounds from the real samples such as tap water, bottled water and river water was available without any pretreatment processes.