"The Sixsenso technology is ready to enter in the water market and offer an innovative and attractive solution for end-users in terms of functionality, reliability and rapid time to result. This milestone has been possible thanks to the tremendous effort throughout the company’s long incubation of numerous people in ICFO’s KTT Unit as well as the Mechanical and Electronics workshops."

— Pedro A. Martínez

Sixsenso spun out of ICFO in October 2020 after developing for more than eight years in ICFO’s KTT Launchpad. Their photonics-based technology detects fluorescence emitted both naturally and by induced labelling techniques emitted by microorganisms. It comprises a microfluidic labelling system and a laser-based fluorescence reader system, both coupled to a front-end sample concentrator system, which takes the target waters under investigation and converts them into a useful volume for system analysis. The complete Sixsenso system is designed to be extremely accurate, portable, cost-effective, and easy to integrate within a process stream or for on-site measurements with a time to result one order of magnitude lower than gold standard methods. Suitable for bathing water, harbor water and ballast water regulations compliance, with direct applicability in wastewater, industrial water, fresh water, beverage quality control, and for early detection of biological contamination to avoid outbreaks.


Sixsenso emerged from research in the Optoelectronics group led by ICREA Professor at ICFO Dr. Valerio Pruneri, a founding member of the company. Pedro Martínez helped to develop this technology from its earliest stages as a research engineer at ICFO, and will continue as Sixsenso’s CTO. Adrian Parker, Sixsenso’s CEO, first collaborated with the development of the Sixsenso technology as an industry collaborator in related H2020 projects. He joins the Sixsenso team, bringing his experience with water treatment systems as well as sales and marketing in water industry sector.

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Sixsenso Stakeholders (L to R) V. Pruneri, A. Ongaro, P. A. Martinez, A. Parker, S. Carrasco, L. Torner, and E. Pola (ICREA)
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SX-CYT fluorescence reader prototype
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Applications include analysis of bathing water, harbour water and ballast water regulations compliance, among others
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Phytoplankton analysis under the SX-CYT in Brightfield Imaging Mode, 2020