Biosensor detects toxins in water sources

UC environmental engineers’ research featured in NSF video

University of Cincinnati environmental engineers and chemists developed a biosensor to detect toxins in surface water such as streams, rivers and lakes. Funded through National Science Foundation (NSF) grants, the research was recently featured in an NSF video

The research is led by Dionysios Dionysiou, professor of environmental engineering, and addresses the importance of detecting toxic products of cyanobacteria algal blooms, which are formed mainly by agricultural runoff. Project collaborators at UC include Vesselin Shanov, professor of chemical engineering; Ryan White, associate professor of electrical engineering and chemistry; and Bill Heineman, professor of chemistry.

The research team, including research assistant and environmental engineering Ph.D. student Vasileia Vogiazi whose work was featured in a previous article, created a sensor to identify and measure microcystins. These toxins are produced from algal blooms and can cause skin irritation, nausea or vomiting if swallowed, and liver damage if large amounts are ingested. Understanding the toxin’s impact on the water supply can aid water treatment plants to adjust the treatment strategy to keep these microcystins from contaminating drinking water. 

Video courtesy of National Science Foundation. 

Featured image at top: A satellite image of algal blooms on Lake Erie. Photo/Nasa. 

Related Stories

1

First-gen UC undergrad beating the odds, finding her voice

December 7, 2022

Many non-traditional students find a home at the University of Cincinnati, and Emily O’Bryant is no exception. A student who comes from a history of displaced housing as a ward of the court, O’Bryant is a first-generation student pursuing her bachelor's degree in communications through the College of Arts and Sciences.  “I am an independent student. My birth mom had me at 14 and I ended up in multiple homes throughout my childhood,” says O’Bryant. “Neither of my parents made it out of the eighth grade. I went through a few different types of care when I was younger all over the place, but as an adult I wanted to be better and do better.”  Only 26 percent of first-generation students complete at least a bachelor’s degree, according to data from the Pew Research Center. In addition to the usual struggles associated with adjusting to college culture, there are myriad additional barriers that first generation can students face, including lack of support from family and peers, college preparedness, racial disparity and financial stability.

2

ABC News: 2024 cycle begins to churn for Senate, House races

December 7, 2022

The election cycle seems to endlessly churn in a divided political sphere; and now that the 2022 mid-terms are over experts begin to weigh in on the 2024 races. One senate race of particular interest will be the potential re-election of Ohio Senator Sharrod Brown, says UC political scientist David Niven.

Debug Query for this