International journal of molecular sciences

Novel Electrokinetic Microfluidic Detector for Evaluating Effectiveness of Microalgae Disinfection in Ship Ballast Water.

PMID 26516836


Ship ballast water treatment methods face many technical challenges. The effectiveness of every treatment method usually is evaluated by using large scale equipment and a large volume of samples, which involves time-consuming, laborious, and complex operations. This paper reports the development of a novel, simple and fast platform of methodology in evaluating the efficiency and the best parameters for ballast water treatment systems, particularly in chemical disinfection. In this study, a microfluidic chip with six sample wells and a waste well was designed, where sample transportation was controlled by electrokinetic flow. The performance of this microfluidic platform was evaluated by detecting the disinfection of Dunaliella salina (D. salina) algae in ballast water treated by sodium hypochlorite (NaClO) solution. Light-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (LICF) intensity was used to determine the viability of microalgae cells in the system, which can be operated automatically with the dimension of the detector as small as 50 mm × 24 mm × 5 mm. The 40 µL volume of sample solution was used for each treatment condition test and the validity of detection can be accomplished within about five min. The results show that the viability of microalgae cells under different treatment conditions can be determined accurately and further optimal treatment conditions including concentrations of NaClO and treatment time can also be obtained. These results can provide accurate evaluation and optimal parameters for ballast water treatment methods.