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Biosensors, Reporters and Algal Autonomous Vessels for Ocean Operation

Acronym: BRAAVOO
Period: 2013 till 2016
Status: Completed

Institutes (4)  Top 
  • Institute for the study of coastal ecosystems; National Research Council (CNR)
  • Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), more
  • The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HUJI)
  • Lionix BV

BRAAVOO aims to develop innovative solutions for real-time in-situ measurement of high impact and difficult to measure marine pollutants. The concept of BRAAVOO is based on a unique combination of three types of biosensors, which will enable both the detection of a number of specific marine priority pollutants as well as of general biological effects that can be used for early warning. First, innovative bimodal evanescent waveguide nanoimmuno-sensors will enable label-free antibody-based detection of organohalogens, antibiotics, or algal toxins. Secondly, bacterial bioreporters producing autofluorescent proteins in response to chemical exposure will enable direct detection of alkanes or PAHs from oil, heavy metals, or antibiotics, and can further assess the general toxicity of the water sample. Finally, the photosystem activity of marine algae is exploited to monitor changes induced by toxic compounds. BRAAVOO will construct and rigorously test the three biosensor systems for their analytical performance to the targeted pollutants. To enable low-cost real-lime measurements, the three biosensors will be miniaturised, multiplexed and integrated into innovative modules, which allow simultaneous multianalyte detection. The modules will include all optical elements for biosensor signal generation and readout, the microelectronics for data storage, and specific microfluidics to expose the biosensors to aqueous samples from dedicated autosamplers. The modules can be used either as stand-alone instruments for specific marine applications, or can operate autonomously and in real-time in an integrated form. Hereto, they will be embedded in a marine buoy and an unmanned surveying vessel. Vessels and stand-alone biosensors modules will be tested extensively and in comparative fashion on real marine samples and in mesocosmos. We expect that the flexible BRAAVOO solutions will present useful new systems for marine environmental monitoring.

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