Bioluminescent nanopaper for rapid screening of toxic substances

Jie Liu, Eden Morales-Narváez, Jahir Orozco, Teresa Vicent, Guohua Zhong, Arben Merkoçi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


© 2018, Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany. Environmental pollution is threatening human health and ecosystems as a result of modern agricultural techniques and industrial progress. A simple nanopaper-based platform coupled with luminescent bacteria Aliivibrio fischeri (A. fischeri) as a bio-indicator is presented here, for rapid and sensitive evaluation of contaminant toxicity. When exposed to toxicants, the luminescence inhibition of A. fischeri-decorated bioluminescent nanopaper (BLN) can be quantified and analyzed to classify the toxicity level of a pollutant. The BLN composite was characterized in terms of morphology and functionality. Given the outstanding biocompatibility of nanocellulose for bacterial proliferation, BLN achieved high sensitivity with a low cost and simplified procedure compared to conventional instruments for laboratory use only. The broad applicability of BLN devices to environmental samples was studied in spiked real matrices (lake and sea water), and their potential for direct and in situ toxicity screening was demonstrated. The BLN architecture not only survives but also maintains its function during freezing and recycling processes, endowing the BLN system with competitive advantages as a deliverable, ready-to-use device for large-scale manufacturing. The novel luminescent bacteria-immobilized, nanocelullose-based device shows outstanding abilities for toxicity bioassays of hazardous compounds, bringing new possibilities for cheap and efficient environmental monitoring of potential contamination.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-125
JournalNano Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Aliivibrio fischeri
  • bacterial nanocellulose
  • bioluminescent device
  • nanopaper
  • toxicity bioassay


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