Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


SEA-ON-A-CHIP Report Summary

Project ID: 614168
Funded under: FP7-KBBE
Country: Spain

Periodic Report Summary 2 - SEA-ON-A-CHIP (Real time monitoring of SEA contaminants by an autonomous Lab-on-a-chip biosensor)

Project Context and Objectives:
European maritime regions account for over 40% of the EU gross national product (GNP). Between 3 and 5% of Europe’s GNP is estimated to be generated directly from marine based industries and services. Coastal waters generate 75% of the ecosystem service benefits for Europe’s coast and it is estimated to have an equivalent value of €18 billion/annum. In addition, the non-quantifiable value of the marine resource should not be underestimated as it has a direct impact on quality of life, health societal and business development in Europe.
Chemical contamination of estuarine and coastal areas is a highly complex issue with negative implications for the environment and human health (through the food chain) and related coastal industries such as fisheries. Early warning systems that can provide extreme sensitivity with exquisite selectivity are required.
SEA-on-a-CHIP aims to develop a miniaturized, autonomous, remote and flexible immuno-sensor platform based on a fully integrated array of microelectrodes and a microfluidic system in a lab- on-a-chip configuration combined with electrochemical detection (electrochemical measurements) for real time analysis of marine waters in multi-stressor conditions.
This system will be developed for application in aquaculture facilities, including the rapid assessment of contaminants affecting aquaculture production and also those produced by this industry, but it is easy adaptable to other target compounds or other situations required by early warning systems for coastal waters contamination analysis.
The specific project objectives are thus the following:
1. To develop and optimize specific immunoassays to detect eight representative contaminants (WP2)
2. To develop miniaturized immunosensors using integrated microelectrodes specifically functionalized with the antigens of selected compounds to carry out indirect competitive immunoassays onto the electrodes surfaces. The interaction antigen antibody on microelectrodes surface will be studied by electrochemical measurements (impedimetric or amperometric) (WP3)
3. To design and build an integrated microfluidic and electromechanical systems to manage: the motor controls, microfluidics, signal amplification and to control the wired signal transmission to the surface module, to provide a simple and robust underwater operating module (WP4)
4. To design and develop a data processing and management. Data of each platform will be then transmitted to the central node sink (gateway) (WP5)
5. To set up a data collector. This module will be designed to acquire the data from all the different surface devices and remotely send the information from the different modules to a central data base (WP6)
6. The integration of the whole system including: Power management and the integration of the different modules (underwater unit, surface water unit and data-collector). In addition, the design of the watertight underwater module with easy accessibility to the battery and to the reservoirs for refilling (WP7)
7. To develop the final used software for analytical results interpretation and system diagnostics (WP8)
8. To carry out the verification and provide intercalibration and quality assessment of the system performance for real-time and in-situ measurement of marine water contaminants (WP9)
9. To disseminate the main results of the project (WP10)

Project Results:
During this period the SEA-on-a-CHIP second prototype has been developed, and the development of the third has been near to finalize. The second prototype was able to operate autonomously during 7 days and detect three analytes and sending the signals remotely.
Therefore the following tasks have been carried out:
• The development and optimization specific immunoassays to detect 6 contaminants (WP2).
• The development and fabrication of miniaturized immunosensors using integrated microelectrodes individually functionalized with the antigens of selected compounds. The microelectrodes are prepared to carry out indirect competitive immunoassays. The interaction antigen-antibody on microelectrodes surface have been studied by amperometry measurements (WP3)
• An integrated microfluidic and electromechanical system to manage the electromechanical and microfluidics systems, signal amplification and to control the wired signal transmission to the surface module has been developed and integrated into the second prototype (WP4). Different improvements were carried out during this period in the base of the lessons learned from the first prototype regarding pumps miniaturization and compactness.
• The Gateway (WP5) and the collector (WP6) modules has been designed, constructed and integrated into the second prototype
• The second prototype system including Power management and the integration of the different modules and the watertight underwater module with easy accessibility to the battery and the reservoirs for refilling has been integrated (WP7). In this case, a notable reduction of the volume was achieved thanks to the pumps and valves size reduction, compactness and the elimination of the redundant sensors included into the first prototype as system diagnostics.
• An advanced version of the user's software for analytical results interpretation and diagnostics has been developed (WP8)
• Verification and evaluation of the whole system functioning as well as the different parts of the first prototype has been carried out using a step-by-step approach that included: laboratory evaluations, mesocosms trials and a sea trial in aquaculture facilities (WP9)
• Different dissemination activities have been conducted according to the dissemination plan. Also, monthly teleconferences with the WP leaders, consortium, and working/integration meetings have been as well carried out to assure the fluency of information between the consortium. Besides, the main results of the project have been presented at different international conferences related to the field of the research in the SEA-on-a-CHIP (WP10)
• The building of the third prototype have been started at the base of the second one with some improvements regarding better integration between the microfluidics and microelectronics systems, compactness to avoid linkages and to obtain a system able of 8 measures simultaneously.

Potential Impact:
The development of a miniaturized unattended immunosensor system for real-time testing and applications in aquaculture with commercialization potential is expected.
SEA-ON-A-CHIP project will improve technology associated to immunosensors for marine pollution control (natural or anthropogenic) with a clear repercussion on related industries such as fisheries and aquaculture facilities. Recent technological developments in the miniaturization of electronics and wireless communication technology have led to the emergence of Environmental Sensor Networks (ESN). These will greatly enhance monitoring of the natural environment and in some cases open up new techniques for taking measurements or allow previously impossible remote deployments of sensors.

List of Websites:


Guillermo Sanjuanbenito, (Deputy Vice-President for Scientific Programming)
Tel.: +34 91 568 1528
Fax: +34 91 568 1442
Record Number: 197675 / Last updated on: 2017-05-16