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Multi-WAP: Multiplexed, label-free fiber optic biosensor array system for waterborne pathogen detection

The main aim of the project is to develop cost-effective, multiplexed label-free fiber optic array biosensor system for simultaneous detection of up to 7 or more waterborne pathogens that are prevalent in Indian sub-continent.

Multi-WAP proposes to develop multiplexed, rapid, accurate, label-free, and real-time method for continuous monitoring the multiple waterborne (faecal) pathogens present in water samples at low cost and high sensitivity (>90%). The analytical/diagnostic platform to be developed is an optical absorbance biosensor, with the prerequisite of having the ability to perform online measurements. Our ambition is to improve the analytical method further to function as a highly efficient screening method for the early detection of life-threatening waterborne diseases in resource-limited settings.

This project addresses a clearly identified need for tests which can significantly surpass the performance of the currently available water monitoring tests. Throughout this project, special attention will be paid to both end-user requirements (performance, cost, ease-of-use) and to manufacturability. The combination of low cost and high accuracy will be achieved through a unique integration of several state-of-the-art concepts, which the partners have separately developed and of which the integration maturity in Multi-WAP platform has to be tested.

IIT (Madras) shall develop the novel fiber optic sensor array with optoelectronic instrumentation and software. The German Research partner (IOT, Braunschweig) shall perform critical surface modifications of the fiber probes. The German industrial partner (LIONEX) shall produce highly specific antibodies to surface biomarkers of E. coli as model analytes and for waterborne faecal pathogens as final arrays followed by their immobilisation on biosensor. The Indian industrial partner (ubio) shall integrate in the device assembly and evaluate the final lab-device using model and pathogen contaminated water samples (along with LIONEX).

LIONEX shall do evaluation and compare the sensor performance with industry standard. Today, there are no analytical methods on the market that fulfil the criteria of being rapid, accurate, label-free, and online for the detection of waterborne pathogens. This is especially true when it comes to screening situations or the performance of diagnoses in resource-limited settings.


Project Investigators

    IIT Madras, Chennai 
    ubio Biotechnology Systems Pvt Ltd, Cochin
    TU Braunschweig, Braunschweig 
    Lionex GmbH, Braunschweig


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Last update:  Jan 14, 2019 @ 08:17 Lionex GmbH

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