Home pagePress monitoringFluorescent nematodes can help monitor indoor air impurities

Fluorescent nematodes can help monitor indoor air impurities

Date: 8.2.2023 

Good quality indoor air is crucial to our well-being, while impurities in the air can compromise our working capacity and health. Researchers at the University of Turku in Finland have developed a new method for measuring indoor air quality, making use of fluorescent strains of nematodes.

Kredit: Paavanen-Huhtala et al. (2023), Pathogens.Microbial or chemical contaminants in the air can be toxic or irritative and cause allergic reactions, asthma or other diseases in exposed individuals. However, there are currently no widely accepted methods for monitoring the risks associated with exposure to hazardous indoor air agents, so novel approaches are needed.

In a project carried out in the Department of Biology at the University of Turku, researchers developed a new method for indoor air diagnostics by taking advantage of transgenic strains of Caenorhabditis elegans nematodes. These strains produce green fluorescent protein (GFP) when forced to either smell or taste harmful biological or chemical impurities. The amount of this fluorescence can easily be measured by spectrometry.

"Such nematodes had previously been used to monitor the biological effects of heavy metals and other environmental agents, so we thought they might also be suitable for monitoring indoor air quality," says the leader of the project, university lecturer Päivi Koskinen.

"When we exposed nematodes to fungal samples collected from moisture-damaged buildings, we indeed observed significantly increased amounts of fluorescence," continues Koskinen.

Image source: Paavanen-Huhtala et al. (2023), Pathogens.





  • BC AV CR
  • Budvar
  • CAVD
  • CZBA
  • Eco Tend
  • Envisan Gem
  • Gentrend
  • JAIP
  • Jihočeská univerzita
  • Madeta
  • Forestina