SENSOWAQ - Sensors for monitoring and control of water quality

Project Details


Scientific summary:
The vision is to construct new sensors for on-line or close to on-line measurement. Sensors are devices that detect physical, chemical or biological stimuli and transform them into signals, which can be measured or recorded. Sensor technology may provide rapid responses in contrast to traditional monitoring methods with long incubations or complex extraction and concentration procedures. The technology opens for development of miniaturised devices for on-line measurement of organic- and inorganic pollutants and microorganisms in different water bodies including groundwater, drinking water and water in industry. Unfortunately, hardly any sensors are available for measuring such water quality parameters, and the scientific challenge for this project is to identify and develop detection principles to enable detection of the very low concentrations typical for these parameters, and to transfer these detection principles to sensor platforms. Sensors can be divided into physico-chemical- and biological sensors. Biological sensors integrate a biological recognition element and a transducer capable of detecting the biological reaction and converting it into a measurable signal.
Sensors for the drinking water supply will be developed for detection of selected pesticides (dichlobenil, 2,6-dichlorobenzamide (BAM), triazine and phenoxyacid herbicides), metals (copper, arsenic), specific microorganisms (e.g. Bacteroides, Enterococci, Campylbacter, E. coli, Legionella, Cryptosporidium) and microorganisms in general (suspended organisms, biofilm and corrosive organisms).
The research will use and develop several detection principles: 1) immunological and aptamer technology, 2) bioluminescent/fluorescent whole cell technology, 3) DNA and RNA array technology, 4) enzyme technology, 5) ATP-detection by bioluminescence, 6) auto-fluorescent biomolecule detection, and 7) electrical resistance for corrosion measurement. Depending on the target molecules these techniques will be transferred to the appropriate sensor platforms including 1) optical fibres, 2) cantilevers, 3) automated sampling, filtering and analysis robots, and 4) DNA/RNA array-technologies.
The project is divided into two main working areas (WA) focusing on development of sensors for analysis of pesticides and metals (WA1) and microbial contamination, including biocorrosive processes (WA2).
Effective start/end date01/01/200731/12/2011


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