Although water is the most widespread molecule in biological systems, it’s interaction with light remains poorly understood. Water is prone to contamination through biological processes, industrial practises and malicious tampering. Surface water reservoirs are exposed to contamination by thousands of micropollutants from pharmaceutical, agricultural and natural origins. Aquaphotomics is a new scientific discipline that concerns the rapid and comprehensive analysis of water-light interaction as a potential source of information for better understanding of the biological world. This proposal investigates the potential use of Aquaphotomics combined with Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) and Near Infrared Chemical Imaging (NIR-CI) for early detection of contamination in water. Knowledge gained on the theory and application of Aquaphotomics acquired during the outgoing stage will be transferred to the EU during the incoming stage. This knowledge will be used in the development of real-time, multi-contaminant detectors based on NIRS and NIR-CI. Such real-time monitoring would enable dynamic modelling of water systems, which is not currently available, for increased understanding of the behaviour of contaminated water systems. It is envisaged that this work will lead to the development of a centre of excellence in Aquaphotomics at UCD and provide a protocol for the development of sensors based on NIRS and NIR-CI for rapid detection of contamination in water.
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