The main aim of the EnviGuard project is to develop a highly specific and precise in situ measurement device for currently hard to measure man-made chemical contaminants and biohazards. This will be possible by the development of three different detection units – algae, chemicals and pathogens – integrated into a single and portable device the “EnviGuard port”. It will be able to collect and send the data in real-time for a period of at least one week without maintenance in a marine, offshore surrounding.
EnviGuard: BIOSENSOR TECHNOLOGY FOR ENSURING FOOD SAFETY IN AQUACULTURE
“EnviGuard is a response to the current demand of the aquaculture industries for a reliable and cost-effective real time monitoring tool.
EnviGuard will be used as an early warning system in aquaculture and for assessing the good environmental status of the sea in compliance with current European policies including the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), 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.
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 cutting edge sensor technology putting European research and highly innovative SMEs in the forefront of quickly developing markets.
The EnviGuard Port module will be the interface between the three biosensor modules, supplying the connected sensors with power, preparing the samples, processing the data and transmitting it to the customer. In order to meet the requirements of the individual user/ location the EnviGuard Port comes with modular equipment itself. Depending on the needs of the different sensor modules and the findings in the course of the project this may be a regenerative energy supply, an internal climate control or long wave data transmission.
– Algae detection unit for toxic marine microalgae species, mainly dinoflagellates which have the potential to form Harmful Algal Blooms will be detected electrochemically on a chip with molecular probes.
– Chemical detection unit based on a novel concept of biophotonic sensing cells which use resonant nanopillars as transducer and monoclonal antibodies as selective bioreceptors to detect toxins and man-made pollutants.
– Pathogen detection unit to detect bacteria and virus particles specifically and quantitatively. It will consist of a chip coated with aptamers and an optical detection unit.
– Highly specific, precise and reliable 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, algal toxin and PCBs.
– A modular system (of up to three sensors) integrated in a single, durable device.
– Automatic sampling under multi-stressor conditions in the marine environment.
– Easy access to data from everywhere through internet database allowing risk and environmental status assessment online.
– Easy, fast and cheap way to measure harmful substances in-situ.
– Real-time results make it an early warning system for the aquaculture industry, beach surveillance & national park services.
EnviGuard’s multidisciplinary RTD approach brings together the best scientists in Europe in the fields of nanotechnology, microbiology, molecular genetics, chemistry, marine research, process control and automation engineering and other related sectors working in close cooperation with highly specialized and experienced technological SMEs and end-users from the aquaculture sector and from environmental monitoring, to meet the expected project results.
– Translation and transfer of breakthrough research results into market applications ensured by the strong involvement of SMEs and end users.
– Implementation of the EnviGuard technology which will significantly contribute to a sustainably thriving maritime economy, one of the EU’s integrated maritime policy’s objectives, and thus, to a maximization of the impact of research and innovation on European society and economy.
– Prevention of future damages of the marine environment and aquaculture through the early detection of pathogens as well as man-made pollutants thus supporting the production and supply of healthy, high quality seafood.
Duration: 1 December 2013 – 30 November 2018 (60 months)
Budget: 7,177,421.82€ € (EC contribution: 5,523,461.00€)