Research Grants/Fellowships/SBIR

Development of a Biosensor for Monitoring of Mercury Pollution in Natural Water

EPA Grant Number: SU835086
Title: Development of a Biosensor for Monitoring of Mercury Pollution in Natural Water
Investigators: Zhao, Julia Xiaojun , Chen, Jiao , Ducioame, Robert , Fahruddin, Nenny , Hanson, Aaron , Shephard, Kali , Strating, Shaina , Wu, Xu
Institution: University of North Dakota
EPA Project Officer: Lank, Gregory
Project Period: August 15, 2011 through August 14, 2012
Project Amount: $15,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2011) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Water , P3 Awards , Sustainability



Develop a novel biosensor that can sensitively detect low concentration of mercury to monitor mercury pollution in the Red River; Disseminate the knowledge of protection of natural water to the public by giving a series of seminars to K-12 schools and hosting workshops in the local community.


To highly amplify the mercury signal using two biological approaches – rolling circle amplification (RCA) and thymine-mercury ion- thymine (T-Hg2+-T) mismatch.

Expected Results:

1) accurate monitoring of the mercury level in the Red River water using the developed sensor; 2) preservation of the natural water sources; 3) increase public awareness of the harmfulness of the mercury pollution; and 5) improvement of the human health by the minimization of the mercury pollution.

Supplemental Keywords:

Sustainable water management, drinking water, water treatment