Biosensor for organic and inorganic arsenicals


Florida International University (FIU) is pursuing commercial partners interested in developing Biosensor for organic and inorganic arsenicals. The nonpathogenic bacterial biosensor developed by FIU can discriminate between the organic and inorganic arsenicals which is vital since arsenic is a toxic metalloid listed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) superfund list as a first of Hazardous Chemicals.  The fate of organoarsenical herbicides and grow promoters used in animal husbandry is eventually biotransformed to inorganic arsenic (the most toxic form).

Current chemical tests and Biosensors detect only inorganic arsenic and total organic arsenicals.  The last assay is lab based costly, can be easily contaminated with interfering elements, low precision, poor reproducibility, and requires skillful operators. The detection method developed by FIU researchers provides the first method for direct sensing of organic arsenicals.

Researchers at FIU have developed a novel method to detect the presence of organic arsenicals by using a whole cell bacterial biosensor that proposed a rapid, cost effective, and high-throughput method. The fluorescent and intensity of the reaction allows for accurate analysis of the testing results. This method can create a significant economic impact in the market field as there is no known commercial test kit in detecting organic arsenicals.

  • Agriculture, animal husbandry, water, food, and soil arsenic analysis.
  • Detecting and quantifying the bioavailability and mobility of arsenic derivatives products on herbicides and growth supplements in farm animal feed and used also in the past as chemical warfare agents.
  • Sensing and monitoring specific harmful biotransformation of organoarsenics, and discriminate between organic and inorganic arsenic in agricultural settings.
  • High selectivity between organic and inorganic arsenicals.
  • Efficient, and low cost method for detecting organic arsenicals.
  • Rapid test response.
  • Alternative cost-effective method to test inorganic arsenic in potable water.

For additional information about this technology opportunity, please contact Elizabeth Garami at or by phone at 305-348-0008 and ask about record IP 1212.