24 August 2015 ICFO & CYTO-WATER

Data management device

The project aims at developing a new device to detect microorganisms in industrial and environmental waters The CYTO-WATER project, funded by the Horizon 2020 EU Research and Innovation Program, has officially been launched with the aim of performing the first market application of a new imaging cytometer platform for the detection of microorganisms in industrial and environmental waters.

With a duration over three years, six partners will form the team of the project: Labaqua, ICFO and Cetaqua from Spain, MEMTEQ of the United Kingdom, microTEC from Germany, and Bertin Technologies from France. The research group led by ICREA Professor at ICFO Valerio Pruneri forms part of the consortium.

The new instrument will be validated for quantifying the Legionella and Escherichia coli populations of water samples within 120 minutes. The new cytometer will thus overcome the main disadvantage of traditional methods used in laboratories: the long time-to-results, which can reach up to 12 days. Moreover, the new device will be portable and easy-to-handle, consequently broadening the possibilities of online application and reducing transportation costs, hence increasing its versatility.

The platform will integrate the technological solutions of its consortium partners, including a microfluidics cell that, combined with an automatic concentration cartridge, will provide an adequate elution to the fluorescent image cytometer. Furthermore, a Global Control System will centralize reading data management.

The cytometer will be applied in industrial and environmental waters, two areas that play a key role in smart and sustainable growth. In industrial settings, Legionella can cause serious infections through inhalation of contaminated water mist. In open environments, Escherichia coli is an indicator of pathogen presence. As a result, CYTO-WATER will support the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC) and the Bathing Water Directive (2006/7/EC) in EU countries.

Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe\'s global competitiveness.