How do Bio-Trap Samplers Work?

An inside look at the science behind the Bio-Trap sampling approach

Bio-Trap samplers, whether containing standard or baited Bio-Sep beads, are easily deployed and recovered passive sampling tools that collect microbes over time for characterization of microbial communities and processes. For assessment of bioremediation, Bio-Traps are typically deployed in existing monitoring wells for 30–60 days. For dense contaminants like many chlorinated solvents, Bio-Traps are usually suspended near the middle of the screened interval. At petroleum hydrocarbon impacted sites, Bio-Traps are suspended within the well screen approximately 1–1.5 ft below the water table if possible. For sites that experience large fluctuations in groundwater elevation, Bio-Traps should be suspended from a float. During in well deployment, actively colonizing subsurface microorganisms form biofilms on and within the pores of the Bio-Sep beads similar to biofilm formation on native aquifer materials. Once recovered from the well, DNA, RNA, or phospholipids can be readily extracted from the beads for PLFA or CENSUS analysis.