Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) is an important factor used to measure water pollution. This article reviews recent developments of microbial biosensors with respect to their applications for low BOD estimation. Four main methods to measure BOD using a biosensor are described: microbial fuel cells, optical methods, oxygen electrode based methods and mediator-based methods. Each of them is based on different principles, thus a different approach is required to improve the limit of detection. A proper choice of microorganisms used in the biosensor construction and/or sample pre-treatment processes is also essential to improve the BOD lower detection limit.
Titania nanotube (TNT) arrays fabricated by anodizing of titanium foil in organic (ethylene glycol) and inorganic (phosphoric acid) electrolytes and thermally modified in argon revealed much improved properties to detect hydrogen peroxide. Horseradish peroxidase and acetate thionine co-absorbed by a dip coating on the TNT electrode were used to detect hydrogen peroxide in phosphate buffered saline. The morphology and electrochemical properties of TNT arrays were studied by scanning electron microscopy, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and cyclic voltammetry. Well defined oxidation and reduction peaks for potassium ferricyanide have been observed for TNT formed in ethylene glycol and annealed in argon. TNT arrays formed in organic electrolyte and annealed in argon indicated more favorable adsorption and electrochemical properties what was confirmed by detection of hydrogen peroxide towards analyte in phosphorate buffered saline solution.