Our project is inspired by the prevalent issue of indoor air formaldehyde pollution in newly renovated houses in Hong Kong.
We aim to develop a biological device capable of detecting formaldehyde levels without requiring specialized knowledge or equipment.
We used a synthetic biological approach to engineered E. coli strains with formaldehyde-inducible promoter pFrmR and the HxlR operon. Our objective was to compare the effectiveness of these components. Notably, we successfully demonstrated the functionality of the pFrmR construct, exhibiting a color change in the presence of formaldehyde.
Additionally, contrary to the literature suggesting tdTomato RFP's higher fluorescence intensity, we observed that dTomato RFP colonies displayed a more visible coloration, making it a more suitable candidate for our devices.
Furthermore, we developed ADAM, an automated monitoring hardware device integrated with IFTTT technology, enabling real-time tracking of color changes in our biological device. The device's code is openly shared on our wiki platform.