SulFind 2021

SulFind: A biosensor for sensitive hydrogen sulfide measurements in recirculating aquaculture systems

Proud winners of the iGEM Silver Medal

With SulFind, we are addressing acute fish death caused by hydrogen sulfide (H2S) poisoning in recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS). Our goal is to design a biosensor that would satisfy industry standards as present technologies for H2S detection are often insufficiently sensitive for toxic H2S levels. Two biosensor systems were attempted, a whole-cell system and a system based on heme proteins. Our heme-based sensor exploits the protein's sulfide-binding capabilities. We use fluorescence intensity to evaluate the conformational change in fluorophore-tagged myoglobin protein bound to H2S. The sensing device will be embedded in a microfluidic chip, which will be compatible with existing methods for monitoring water quality in RAS facilities. As a result, our study seeks to reduce acute fish mortality in RAS facilities, making RAS more sustainable and economical.