An optical biosensor for multi-sample determination of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD)

Nga Yan Kwok, Shaojun Dong, Wai Hung Lo, Kwok Yin Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


An optical biosensor for parallel multi-sample determination of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) in wastewater samples has been developed. The biosensor monitors the dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration in water through an oxygen sensing film immobilized on the bottom of glass sample vials. The oxygen sensing film contains the tris(4,7-diphenyl-1,10-phenanthroline) ruthenium(II) dye (Ru(dpp)) the luminescence intensity of which varies with oxygen concentration. A computer-controlled moving optrode head with four blue light emitting diodes (LEDs) was scanned sequentially under each sample vial. The luminescence signal was collected by an optical cable and transmitted to a photomultiplier tube (PMT) and processed by a microcomputer. The microbial samples (activated sludge and Bacillus subtilis were immobilized in a sol-gel composite material of silica and poly(vinyl alcohol)-grafted-poly(vinylpyridine) on the oxygen sensing film. The performance of the microbial film as a function of cell loading, thickness, temperature and pH and in the presence of heavy metals as well as its stability and service life have been investigated. The BOD value was determined from the rate of oxygen consumption by the microorganisms in the first 20 min. The BOD values obtained from this biosensor correlates well with the results of the conventional 5-day BOD test.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-298
Number of pages10
JournalSensors and Actuators, B: Chemical
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2005


  • BOD sensor
  • Multi-sample
  • Optical
  • Sol-gel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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