Simultaneous and rapid quantification of microalga biomolecule content using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Lipids, proteins, and carbohydrates are the major constituents found in microalga cells, in varying proportions, and these biomolecules find applications in different industries. During microalga cultivation, to efficiently manipulate, control, and optimize the productivity of a specific compound for a specific application, real-time monitoring of these three cell components is essential. In this study, a method using measurement of electrical capacitance was developed to simultaneously determine the lipid, protein, and carbohydrate content of microalga cells without the requirement for any pre-processing steps. The marine microalga Nannochloropsis oculata was cultivated under nitrogen starvation conditions to induce lipid accumulation over a period of 22 days. The correlation between the electrical capacitance of the microalga culture and the intracellular biomolecule content (determined by standard techniques) was investigated, enabling subsequent deduction of microalga intracellular content from electrical capacitance of the culture. The accuracy and precision of the technique were proven by validating an independent sample. The main advantage of the proposed technique is its capability of quantifying microalga composition within a few minutes, significantly faster than currently available conventional techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere3037
JournalBiotechnology Progress
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2020


  • biomolecules content
  • capacitance
  • electrical characterization
  • microalgae Nannochloropsis oculata

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology


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