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Preparation and Testing of Impedance-based Fluidic Biochips with RTgill-W1 Cells for Rapid Evaluation of Drinking Water Samples for Toxicity

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Journal Article

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U.S. Army Center for Environmental Health Research Fort Detrick United States

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This manuscript describes how to prepare fluidic biochips with Rainbow trout gill epithelial RTgill-W1 cells for use in a field portable water toxicity sensor. A monolayer of RTgill-W1 cells forms on the sensing electrodes enclosed within the biochips. The biochips are then used for testing in a field portable electric cell-substrate impedance sensing ECIS device designed for rapid toxicity testing of drinking water. The manuscript further describes how to run a toxicity test using the prepared biochips. A control water sample and the test water sample are mixed with pre-measured powdered media and injected into separate channels of the biochip. Impedance readings from the sensing electrodes in each of the biochip channels are measured and compared by an automated statistical software program. The screen on the ECIS instrument will indicate either Contamination Detected or No Contamination Detected within an hour of sample injection. Advantages are ease of use and rapid response to a broad spectrum of inorganic and organic chemicals at concentrations that are relevant to human health concerns, as well as the long-term stability of stored biochips in a ready state for testing. Limitations are the requirement for cold storage of the biochips and limited sensitivity to cholinesterase-inhibiting pesticides. Applications for this toxicity detector are for rapid field-portable testing of drinking water supplies by Army Preventative Medicine personnel of for use at municipal water treatment facilities.

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