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Artificial Enzyme-Powered Microfish for Water-Quality Testing

Orozco, Jahir and Garcia-Gradilla, Victor and D’Agostino, Mattia and Gao, Wei and Cortés, Allan and Wang, Joseph (2013) Artificial Enzyme-Powered Microfish for Water-Quality Testing. ACS Nano, 7 (1). pp. 818-824. ISSN 1936-0851. doi:10.1021/nn305372n.

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We present a novel micromotor-based strategy for water-quality testing based on changes in the propulsion behavior of artificial biocatalytic microswimmers in the presence of aquatic pollutants. The new micromotor toxicity testing concept mimics live-fish water testing and relies on the toxin-induced inhibition of the enzyme catalase, responsible for the biocatalytic bubble propulsion of tubular microengines. The locomotion and survival of the artificial microfish are thus impaired by exposure to a broad range of contaminants, that lead to distinct time-dependent irreversible losses in the catalase activity, and hence of the propulsion behavior. Such use of enzyme-powered biocompatible polymeric (PEDOT)/Au-catalase tubular microengine offers highly sensitive direct optical visualization of changes in the swimming behavior in the presence of common contaminants and hence to a direct real-time assessment of the water quality. Quantitative data on the adverse effects of the various toxins upon the swimming behavior of the enzyme-powered artificial swimmer are obtained by estimating common ecotoxicological parameters, including the EC_(50) (exposure concentration causing 50% attenuation of the microfish locomotion) and the swimmer survival time (lifetime expectancy). Such novel use of artificial microfish addresses major standardization and reproducibility problems as well as ethical concerns associated with live-fish toxicity assays and hence offers an attractive alternative to the common use of aquatic organisms for water-quality testing.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Information
Gao, Wei0000-0002-8503-4562
Additional Information:© 2012 American Chemical Society. Received 19 November 2012. Date accepted 12 December 2012. Published online 12 December 2012. Published in print 22 January 2013. This project received support from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency-Joint Science and Technology Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (Grant No. HDTRA1-13-1-0002). J.O., V.G., and M. D’A. acknowledge financial support from the Government of Catalonia (a Beatriu de Pinós Fellowship), CONACYT Mexico and Italy, respectively. V.G. is on leave from UNAM-CNYN. W.G. is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Student Research fellow. The authors also thank C. Hennessy and A. Pourazary for their assistance. The authors declare no competing financial interest.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)HDTRA1-13-1-0002
Beatriu de Pinós (Catalonia)UNSPECIFIED
Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT)UNSPECIFIED
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:catalase; microfish; nanomotors; pollution; propulsion; toxicity
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180123-150634658
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Official Citation:Artificial Enzyme-Powered Microfish for Water-Quality Testing Jahir Orozco, Victor García-Gradilla, Mattia D’Agostino, Wei Gao, Allan Cortés, and Joseph Wang ACS Nano 2013 7 (1), 818-824 DOI: 10.1021/nn305372n
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:84486
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:31 Jan 2018 22:59
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 20:20

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