Kristin: We have been successful in securing funding for CleanFutures AquaSens to finalise prototypes and complete testing of a biosensor technology that is set to revolutionise the testing of water, wine and food throughout the world. CleanFutures AquaSens, was formed by Bridge8 and Australian CleanTech specifically to develop the AquaSens biosensor.The technology is a rapid, highly sensitive sensor probe for the detection of nitrates and phosphates in water, and sulfites in wine and food products.
The technology was developed by Monash University in Victoria and had started its commercialisation process through a Victorian State Government body, Nanotechnology Victoria. Bio Innovation SA recognised its potential and has provided funding through its Business Development Initiative(BDI) grant to allow the final testing to be completed. The funding will enable CleanFutures AquaSens to design and manufacture industrial prototypes of the biosensor and to then conduct customer trials. One of these trials will be completed with the Australian Water Quality Centre, SA Water’s testing laboratory.
The technology allows for tests to be completed immediately and in the field rather than taking samples for further analysis in a laboratory. Results are within minutes rather than having to wait a week or more. Increased phosphates and nitrate levels are key indicators of the likelihood of blue-green algae forming. The use of this biosensor could provide early warning of problems in water bodies such as the River Murray.
The issue of sulfite in wine is currently a major problem for the industry: as it is hard to detect and it is estimated that 1% of the population are sulfite-sensitive. With South Australia’s position as a leader in wine production, the development of the sulfite biosensor here is a natural fit. CleanFutures has arranged for the technology’s inventor, Professor Sam Adeloju from Monash, to work with both Flinders University and The Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) to finalise the required research for the sulfite application of the AquaSens technology.
FURTHER INFORMATION: www.cleanfutures.com.au