Theme 3

Microsensors

Any oceanic research, whether it focusses on oceanography, ecosystem health, biodiversity, weather influence or any other areas, requires scientists to develop inputs-driven understandings of the current state of the ocean, probable near-to-long term changes and the resulting effects these may have. Accurate oceanic modelling is critical not only to all marine researchers, but also those industries who rely on the sea, either through a primary (such as fishing) or secondary function (such as shipping).

The focus of Theme 3 is therefore to develop a suite of new microsensors that will address a range of essential ocean variables by providing information about key biogeochemical and biological ocean parameters that are necessary for the development of the models that underpin our collective efforts to better understand the ocean.

Work Package 5

Microsensors to TRL 5 (Requirement to Benchtop)

This WP will simultaneously develop three key microsensing technologies to the point where they can be validated in a lab environment. The three technologies are a bio-assay-enabled Lab-on-Chip (LOC) for assessing biotoxins and organic contaminants, a miniaturised and enhanced biogeochemical LOC for the rapid analysis of multiple analytes and a micro-cytometer for phytoplankton and microplastic detection and analysis.

Lead:
Prof. Fiona Regan, DCU
fiona.regan@dcu.ie

Objectives

  • 01

    Develop recombinant antibody-based bio-assays and integrate them with a low-cost in situ lab-on- chip (LOC) sensor platform.

  • 02

    Develop a single, low-cost biogeochemical LOC capable of multiple parallel analyses of analytes.

  • 03

    Develop the key elements for the first in situ microcytometer for the detection and analysis of marine phytoplankton and microplastics.

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Work Package 10

Microsensors to TRL 6 (In situ Prototype)

This WP will synthesise the components, assays, insights, and loosely integrated systems that were developed in this theme’s WP3, the miniaturisation work in WP5 and the cross-cutting aspects of WP6. It will also incorporate the wider aspects of the project to harmonise the microsensors with other platform systems. It will produce prototypes of the biogeochemical and bio-assay LOC sensors and the microcytometer for validation in coastal and simulated environments.

Lead:
Prof. Fiona Regan, DCU
fiona.regan@dcu.ie

Objectives

  • 01

    Optimise and calibrate the bio-assays for the LOC.

  • 02

    Develop an integrated miniaturised LOC and cytometer prototypes for in situ operations in representative environments.

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Work Package 15

Microsensors (Operational Systems)

WP15 will further advance the Theme 3 microsensors to produce robust and operational bio-assay enabled LOCs, biogeochemical LOCs and microcytometers, building on the results of text exercises. Lessons learned from demonstration missions will be incorporated into both the designs and procedures of operation of prototype systems, providing eventual users with both the technology and enhanced documentation on their deployment and other best practice considerations.

Lead:
Dr Allison Schaap, NOC
allison.schaap@noc.ac.uk

Objectives

  • 01

    Produce operational prototypes that demonstrate the capability of the TechOceanS bio-assay enabled LOC, miniaturised biogeochemical LOC and microcytometer to operate in real-world environments.

  • 02

    Produce the documentation necessary for the transfer of Theme 3 technologies to active users in the research and commercial sectors.

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