The modular EnviGuard system will be made up of three different sensor modules (microalgae / pathogens, i.e. viruses & bacteria / toxins & chemicals), that are connected to the common interface ‘EnviGuard Port’ which collects and sends the information to a server. The data will be accessible through a website in real-time. The modularity of the system enables an individual setup for each purpose thus offering a tailor-made solution for each future client.
In summary the objectives of the project are:
- highly specific, precise and reliable in-situ measurements of biohazards and chemical contaminants in seawater with real-time results
- multi-class, multi-analytic method for the simultaneous determination of harmful microalgae species, Betanodavirus , E. coli , okadaic acid and the co-planar family of PCBs
- automatic sampling in the marine environment
- easy access to data from everywhere through internet database
- a modular system (of up to three sensors) integrated in a single, portable, durable device EnviGuard will allow an easier, faster and cheaper way to measure harmful substances in-situ. Thus, it will provide a unique, competitive advantage and leadership to the European aquaculture industry.
In order to achieve EnviGuard’s goals, the latest findings of nanotechnologies, genomics, molecular science, bio-receptors as well as material science and information technology are combined in the three biosensor modules and a common interface. For that reason it is necessary to have access to international expertise as there are no actors dealing with all these fields in one single country. Molecular probes, aptamers and antibodies are being used to detect the desired targets. The signaling works electrochemically and through optical label-free responses based on changes in reflectivity of nanostructured surfaces.
EnviGuard European Added Value
The biosensors to be developed in the project go far beyond the current state-of-the art in terms of accuracy, reliability and simplicity in operation by combining innovations in nanotechnology and molecular science leading to the development of cutting-edge sensor technology putting European research and highly innovative SMEs at the forefront of quickly developing markets. It will be more cost-efficient than current monitoring devices leading to a clear marketing advantage for the European analytical and research equipment industry. The objectives of the project are in accordance with current European policies like the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, Directive 2010/75/EU regarding the Prevention and Control of Industrial Emissions and the Water Framework Directive whose environmental objectives must be met by 2015. In addition, arrays of biosensors could become critical to understand and predict the propagation of pathogens, which could bring valuable information for aquaculture planning, site selection and biosecurity control.