Recently, there has been interest to develop biosensors based on live mammalian cells to monitor the toxicity of water. The cell viability after exposure to toxic water can be monitored by electric cell-substrate impedance sensing (ECIS) of the cell membrane. However, these impedance based toxicity sensors can only provide one single sensing endpoint (impedance measurement), and many toxicants cannot be detected at the concentration between Military Exposure Guideline levels and estimated Human Lethal Concentrations. The goal of this paper is to provide a rapid and sensitive sensing platform for long-term water toxicity detection. In this paper a novel multiparametric biosensor with integrated microfluidic channels for water toxicity detection is presented. Toxicity tests to study bovine aortic endothelial cells (BAECs) responsiveness to health-threatening concentrations of ammonia in de-ionized (DI) water will be presented. We demonstrated the BAECs can rapidly respond to ammonia concentrations between the military exposure guideline of 2mM and human lethal concentration of 55mM. The successful testing of water toxicity by simultaneous gravimetric and impedimetric measurements indicates that the multiparametric biosensor platform is able to perform rapid and sensitive detection of water toxicity and minimize the false-positive rate.

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