Design a smart system for pathogens detection in bathing waters

  Monitoring the quality of recreational waters such as beaches and rivers is becoming a global concern to protect human health (e.g. the EU Bathing Water Directive (BWD) in Europe). In Scotland, water quality at 86 designated bathing water sites is assessed by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) from May to September; weekly assessments measure current water quality by monitoring levels of bacteria present in samples taken from these sites. However, methods for detecting pathogens are very difficult as samples need to be collected from several locations which is time consuming and leads to pathogens losses. In addition, the detection is performed in laboratory which is subject to transportation and human errors. Therefore, authorities responsible for these bathing waters require new tools to monitor levels of bacteria in real-time. The aim of this project is to develop a portable, easy to use, low cost system for rapid, on site and simultaneous detection of pathogens. The system is based on microfluidic, microscope camera and Wi-Fi technologies to detect pathogens with key pathogen of concern (e.g. E. coli) in bathing waters. The proposed system has a potential to be installed in situ to better inform authorities for public health decisions.

  • Start Date:

    1 April 2019

  • End Date:

    31 March 2022

  • Activity Type:

    Externally Funded Research

  • Funder:

    Data Lab, Scottish Environment Protection Agency

  • Value:

    £38822

Project Team