Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Nitrite biosensor system

Using the metalloprotein cytochrome cd1 nitrite reductase as the molecular recognition element, the partners have developed a biosensing system for the detection of nitrite ions in environmental waters. The nitrite reductase has been encapsulated in a silica sol-gel matrix. The sol-gel protects the enzyme - extending the lifetime of the sensing device - whilst allowing the target analyte (nitrite ions) to diffuse and interact with the nitrite reductase. Upon interaction with the nitrite ions there is a consequent change in the UV-visible absorption spectrum of the nitrite reductase. The change of the absorption spectrum has been shown to be directly proportional to the concentration of the nitrite ions present in the water sample. Calibration has been achieved at 3 different wavelengths in the concentration range suitable for use in potable and other environmental water samples. The sensor has been tested against interferent species and shows excellent specificity. The developed biosensor is based on optical measurements. It should be noted that as the enzyme contains a redox centre the device could be used to quantify concentrations of nitrite ions via electrochemical measurements.

Reported by

University of East Anglia
University Plain
NR4 7TJ Norwich
United Kingdom
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