Our WIKI is best viewed with (click title):

* Internet Explorer 8
* Firefox 3
* Adobe Flash Player 10

If you encounter any visual problems please upgrade your browser to the latest version in order to get the most out of our WIKI. Thank you!
Modelling - Scale Up
An initial feasibility study has been conducted into the cost of our system if it was to be commercialized. It has been suggested that 1000 bacteria per square centimetre is required to cover the soil with enough bacteria for the bacteria to respond effectively and for the light to be seen.

This patent1 suggests that the bacteria should be grown in 55 gallon drums on site using a liquid broth as a buffer solution and states that a concentration of 108 bacteria per ml should be sufficient.

By calculating the number of bacteria in one drum the area of land coved by this land can be determined:

Volume of drum= 55 gallons (us) = 203 l (1 gallon (us) = 3.7 l)

Concentration of bacteria = 108 per ml = 1011 per l Thus number of bacteria in 1 drum= 1011 * 203 = 2.03 * 1013 bacteria

Require 1000 bacteria per cm2 Hence 1 drum provides enough bacteria for = 2.03 * 1013 /1000= 2.03 * 1010 cm2 = 20300m2

The cost of growing these bacteria can be estimated from the cost of growing these bacteria in broth. 500g of broth costs around £602 which is then diluted using water at a ratio of 11.6g broth to 1000ml. This means that 500g can be made up to 43.1l and since we require 203l we need 2360g of liquid broth costing approximately £283 per drum.

This means that it cost approximately £0.013/m2 to grow the required bacteria.

We suggest that the bacteria are dropped from a low flying aircraft which will evenly disperse the bacteria across the expected landmine field. This will allow the ground to be covered in the bacteria which will then respond to any TNT or Nitrites that it discovers in the soil. After darkness, which will give the bacteria enough time to produce the proteins which emit light and EYFP, a plane could then fly over the area once again and mark down the location of any luminescence found in the soil, for further investigation. This will provide a much safer method than having a person in the field detecting the landmines.
1Burlage et al, Oct 26, 1999, Method for detection of buried explosives using a biosensor. US Patent 5972638


Edinburgh University iGEM Team 2009