Grad students in denmark have been able to develop a new bio-sensor which promises to spot unclean water in a matter of seconds. A technology such as this, if put into production can prove to be so useful for companies who depend upon fast lab results to get an all clear for clean water.
"I believe that our product will revolutionise the way microbiological water quality measurements are made," said Erik Gustav Skands, a graduate students from the Technical University of Denmark and CEO of the tech startup, SBT Aqua. The team behind the invention hopes to bring it to market some time next year.
How does it work?
Impedance flow cytometry is the process of monitoring liquid via electrodes that can carry multi-frequency voltage signals, when bacteria and other particles hit the electrodes, the impedance is affected. What is even more amazing is the sensors ability to distinguish bacteria from other non-organic particles, this allows the sensor with a high degree of accuracy to know if a sample of water is contaminated. To add to this Gustav Skands stated that the whole system requires very little maintenance which will bring costs down.
"Today, all commercialised technology to detect bacteria requires either staining, incubation, or manual sample-handling," explains the SBT Aqua team. "SBT Aqua will offer a product, which can perform online and real-time measurements of the bacteria level in aqueous solutions with no pretreatment of the sample, no incubation time, and no manual sample handling."
The sensors can be used in any system and can detect a problem at any point; everything happens in the now and the flow of water can be left flowing. The idea is very similar to thermostats, as soon as a drop in temperature has been detected the central heating will detect and act, raising the temperature, the detection is almost instant and it is the same for the bio-sensor.
The team are now looking to the future; they plan to go commercial in 2016 and have already won awards for there amazing work. They suggested there needs to be a change in this area of science; having long periods of time before test results can safely identify that a sample of water is bacteria free is too long and simply not good enough.
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