Assays & Devices

Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Fellow Projects related to developing omics- and chemical-based monitoring tools to detect and measure MIC and associated chemical end-products

Application of molecularly imprinted polymers (MIP) in MIC

Dr. Reza Akhoondi, Memorial University
Supervisor: Dr. Christina Bottaro, Memorial University

My research focuses on the fabrication of a tailor-made molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) for the extraction of various target analytes including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polycyclic aromatic sulfur heterocycles (PASHs) and benzyl succinate from produced water. The fabrication of a tailor-made MIP is justified based on low concentrations of target analytes and the complexity of the produced water matrix.  These two factors necessitate the use of an efficient sorbent, which should also have some selectivity to discriminate against all the other organic molecules present in produced water before quantitative detection.

Application of MIP for extraction of PAHs from produced water followed by headspace GC-FID detection. Image credit: R. Akhoondi.

Isolation of a Sulfide-Specific Enzyme for Development of a Sulfide Biosensor

Danika Nicoletti, University of Calgary
Supervisor Dr. Lisa Gieg, University of Calgary

A sulfide biosensor is in development and requires a sulfide-specific enzyme for adherence onto its electrode surface. A sulfide-oxidizing microbe Thiobacillus denitrificans is known to harbour the enzyme sulfide:quinone oxidoreductase (SQR) which catalyzes the conversion of sulfide to polysufides. The SQR gene of T. denitrificans was cloned into a strain of Escherichia coli for recombinant expression of the enzyme. Recombinant expression of SQR provides an efficient and scalable source of enzyme for further development on the sulfide biosensor.

Danika completed her Master of Science thesis in 2020. Read her thesis.

SDS-PAGE of isolated SQR from a crude cell-free extract after his-tag chromatography. Image credit: D. Nicoletti, University of Calgary.