This paper presents such a microfluidic system based on electrical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and amperomertic current measurement. The sensor consists of four modules, each housing 24 independent electrodes within 12 microfluidic channels. Attached biomass on the electrodes is monitored as increased inhibition in charge transfer by EIS and a change in metabolic activity is measured as change in produced electric current by amperometry.
This modular sensor system is highly adaptable and suitable for a broad range of microbiological applications. Among others, biofilm formation processes can be characterized online, biofilm manipulation like inactivation or destabilization can be monitored in real-time and gene expression can be analyzed in parallel. The use of different electrode designs allows effective biofilm studies during all biofilm phases.
The whole system was recently extended by an integrated pneumatic microfluidic pump which enables easy handling procedures. Further developments of this pumping module will allow a fully- automated computer-controlled valving and pumping.