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Real time monitoring of SEA contaminants by an autonomous Lab-on-a-chip biosensor (SEA-on-a-CHIP)
Start date: Dec 1, 2013, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Early warning systems that can provide extreme sensitivity with exquisite selectivity are required to assess chemical contamination of estuarine and coastal areas. SEA-on-a-CHIP aims to develop a miniaturized, autonomous, remote and flexible immuno-sensor platform based on a fully integrated array of micro/nano-electrodes and a microfluidic system in a lab-on-a-chip configuration combined with electrochemical detection for real time analysis of marine waters in multi-stressor conditions. This system will be developed for a concrete application in aquaculture facilities, including the rapid assessment of 8 selected contaminants from 5 groups of compounds that affect aquaculture production (compounds which are toxic, bioaccumulative, endocrine disruptors) and also those produced by this industry that affect environment and human health (antibiotics and pesticides), but it is easy adaptable to other target compounds or other situations like coastal waters contamination analysis. Each device will be able to perform 8 simultaneous measures in duplicates and it will be build in order to work with one-month autonomy and measuring in real time at least once per hour. As many devices as needed could be connected simultaneously to the same platform resulting in a very flexible and inexpensive system. Sensitivity for Sea-Water analysis is guaranteed thanks to the use of gold microelectrodes arrays with metalocarborane doped functional polypyrrol. Thank to the use of MEMS and microlectrodes in flexible polymeric substrates the costs of production will be reduced. The units will be tested throughout the lifetime of the project and calibrated to state-of-the-art of chemical analytics: first in laboratory studies, second under artificial ecosystems and finally during 3 field experiments in the installation of 2 aquaculture SME facilities. The last test phase will be performed in a way that will include dissemination of the findings with a clear view of commercializing the devices.

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