A microbial fuel cell-based biosensor for the detection of toxic components in water

N.E. Stein

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


In a microbial fuel cell bacteria produce electricity. When water with a constant quality is lead passed the bacteria, a constant current will be measured. When toxic components enter the cell with the water, the bacteria are affected and this will show as a decrease in current. In this way a microbial fuel cell can act as a sensor for toxic components in water. The research focused on the control of the sensor to reach a sensitive sensor. This was done by controlling the potential of the anode, on which the bacteria grow, using different methods and different values. Also it was found that by performing a dynamic type of measurement, a distinction could be made between different classes of components. Although sensitivity still has to be improved, a microbial fuel cell-based biosensor seems a promising technology in an early warning system detecting generic toxicity.

Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • van Straten, Gerrit, Promotor
  • Keesman, Karel, Co-promotor
Award date30 Sep 2011
Place of Publication[S.l.]
Print ISBNs9789461730275
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • biosensors
  • microbial fuel cells
  • toxic substances
  • water pollution

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