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Your Environment. Your Health.

University of Kentucky

Superfund Research Program

Sensing Superfund Chemicals with Recombinant Systems

Project Leader: Sylvia Daunert (University of Miami)
Grant Number: P42ES007380
Funding Period: 1997-2014

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Project Summary (2000-2005)

The goal of this project is to develop optical and electrochemical biosensing systems for the detection of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and their breakdown products (e.g., hydroxylated PCBs, chlorocatechols, etc.) found in hazardous waste sites. These biosensing systems are based on the use of recombinant bacteria that incorporate the catabolic pathways for PCBs along with the expression of reporter genes. In addition, sensors based on mammalian and yeast cells are also being developed by constructing systems where the expression of a reporter protein is coupled to the binding of the species of interest with the aromatic hydrocarbon receptor. Potential advantages of this biosensor technology include economy, portability and the possibility of identifying and quantifying specific compounds directly in complex mixtures found in soil and groundwater samples.

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