Biotechnology Letters

, Volume 28, Issue 12, pp 889–896

Quantitative Comparison of the Signals of an Electrochemical Bioactivity Sensor During the Cultivation of Different Microorganisms

Original Paper


The microbial activity of different microorganisms was determined by means of an electrochemical bioactivity sensor (BAS). The BAS is based on a biofuel cell and was used for analytical purposes. Online determination of microbial activity using the BAS demonstrated that when different microorganisms with different metabolic pathways were cultivated, a distinct activity signal was detectable with all organisms applied. Furthermore, the results permitted a quantitative comparison of the BAS signals. Among other findings it was shown that the quotient of the BAS signal and the utilized glucose varied from 0.16–29.08 mV g−1, the quotient of the maximum BAS signal and the released energy of the reaction exhibited a lower variation of 0.07–0.19 mV kJ−1. Furthermore it was demonstrated that the highest BAS signals could be measured during anaerobic E. coli fermentations, the reason being the formation of electroactive fermentation products, such as formic acid and H2.

Key words

Bioelectrochemistry Biofuel cell Electroactive substances Microbial activity Sensor 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Karl-Winnacker-Institut der DECHEMA e.V.Frankfurt am MainGermany

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