An Integrated Electronic Interface for Bio-electrochemical Plant-based Sensors

Aakash Jog*, Yahav Avigal, Assaf Avital, Jayteerth Amble, Aviv Peled, Yosi Shacham-Diamand

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


We describe a miniature electronic system that was designed for interacting specifically with plant-based electrochemical biosensors. This bare-bones setup manages the actuation of the biosensor, the data acquisition, and processing of the acquired data. The biosensor itself is based on a new concept especially designed for agriculture. In this biosensor, the plant itself functions as the sensor and provides a signal. Thus, the signal is directly related to the well-being and the status of the plant. This is a novel concept that has been conceived for precision agriculture. Using this specific sensor, the information is collected directly from the plant, yielding information directly related to the condition of the plant. This is in contrast with most other sensors today, which measure the physical and chemical variables of the plant's environment; e.g. water, ground, and air. The functional sensors use the expression of β-glucorinadase (GUS) in transgenic tobacco plants and transgenic tobacco and tomato cell lines. The GUS enzyme activity was detected by chronoamperometry, which yielded a measurable electrical current signal. The electronic system is built using relatively cheap off-the-shelf components: an analog potentiostat front end (AFE), a standard A/D converter (ADC), and a single board computer (SBC). The AFE interfaces with the sensor, while the SBC handles the control of the system and the data processing. The system was designed to highlight the possibility of making a complete interface to the internet at a cost of less than USD 15 today (in 2020), expecting the cost to fall dramatically in the next few years. This cost can be further reduced by connecting multiple sensors and AFEs to a single SBC, and by converting the system to an ASIC using VLSI technology.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIEEE Sensors, SENSORS 2020 - Conference Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781728168012
StatePublished - 25 Oct 2020
Event2020 IEEE Sensors, SENSORS 2020 - Virtual, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 25 Oct 202028 Oct 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of IEEE Sensors
ISSN (Print)1930-0395
ISSN (Electronic)2168-9229


Conference2020 IEEE Sensors, SENSORS 2020
CityVirtual, Rotterdam


FundersFunder number
Boris Mints Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions
Israel Science Foundation1616/17
Tel Aviv University590351
Ministry of Science and Technology, Israel3-14345


    • electrochemical sensors
    • potentiostat
    • precision agriculture
    • sensor interfaces
    • single board computer
    • whole cell biosensors


    Dive into the research topics of 'An Integrated Electronic Interface for Bio-electrochemical Plant-based Sensors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this