PHOIBE – Laser-optical detection of pathogens and toxins to protect drinking water from biological threats and pandemics

Subproject: Laser-based measuring method and biological investigations for the optical detection of biological agents in drinking water

When toxic or pathogenic microorganisms enter our drinking water pipelines, many people may be affected. Using currently available technologies, it takes several days to determine the contaminations in specialized laboratories and to provide the responsible water utilities and authorities reliable statements about the threat.

The aim of the joint project PHOIBE is therefore to develop a detection method that provides a quick result, if possible in real time. An inline laser-optical process is planned that can detect contaminations by bacteria or toxic substances with high sensitivity and without time-consuming sample preparation. The method will be realized as modularly constructed functional demonstrator for the laboratory-independent automated in-line analysis of contaminated water.

This should enable authorities and drinking water suppliers to take appropriate measures to protect the population without delay. The modular concept is also supposed to allow for the monitoring of surface waters.

Project information

Project title

PHOIBE – Laser-optical detection of pathogens and toxins to protect drinking water from biological threats and pandemics

 

Project duration

October 2015 – September 2018

 

 

Project partners

  • Fraunhofer IAF, Freiburg (Germany) (Coordination)
  • Bruker Optik GmbH, Ettlingen (Germany)
  • Temicon GmbH, Freiburg (Germany)
  • Berliner Wasserbetriebe, Berlin (Germany)
  • Umweltbundesamt, Dessau-Roßlau (Germany)

 

 

Funding

We would like to thank the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for funding the project "PHOIBE – Laser-optical detection of pathogens and toxins to protect drinking water from biological threats and pandemics", promotional reference 13N13722.