Layer-by-layer carbon nanotube bio-templates for in situ monitoring of the metabolic activity of nitrifying bacteria

Kenneth J. Loh, Jeremy S. Guest, Genevieve Ho, Jerome P. Lynch, Nancy G. Love

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Despite the wide variety of effective disinfection and wastewater treatment techniques for removing organic and inorganic wastes, pollutants such as nitrogen remain in wastewater effluents. If left untreated, these nitrogenous wastes can adversely impact the environment by promoting the overgrowth of aquatic plants, depleting dissolved oxygen, and causing eutrophication. Although nitrification/denitrification processes are employed during advanced wastewater treatment, effective and efficient operation of these facilities require information of the pH, dissolved oxygen content, among many other parameters, of the wastewater effluent. In this preliminary study, a biocompatible CNT-based nanocomposite is proposed and validated for monitoring the biological metabolic activity of nitrifying bacteria in wastewater effluent environments (i.e., to monitor the nitrification process). Using carbon nanotubes and a pH-sensitive conductive polymer (i.e., poly(aniline) emeraldine base), a layer-by-layer fabrication technique is employed to fabricate a novel thin film pH sensor that changes its electrical properties in response to variations in ambient pH environments. Laboratory studies are conducted to evaluate the proposed nanocomposite's biocompatibility with wastewater effluent environments and its pH sensing performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHealth Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems 2009
StatePublished - Jun 15 2009
Externally publishedYes
EventHealth Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems 2009 - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Mar 9 2009Mar 12 2009

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherHealth Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems 2009
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Carbon nanotube
  • Layer-by-layer
  • Nanocomposite
  • Nitrification
  • Poly(aniline)
  • Wastewater treatment
  • pH sensor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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