Potential End Users:
- Lab Technicians
- Reasearch and Development
- Water treatment and testing facilities
- Biosensor producers
As a customizable piece of equipment, users can adjust everything to their specific needs, starting with the ability to choose what parameters of their liquid are changed via the 6+ available reservoirs. These reservoirs can hold any user-chosen liquid input, and a variety of sensors can be placed within the tank system. If needed, the entire system can be sized up or down, so labs of any size can make use of the AM1. Beyond the modularity of our aquatic environments tank system, microfluidic chips, with their fast and cheap production, can also be changed depending on users' needs. Our system has two microfluidic chips, one to create droplets, and the other to sense those droplets after incubation. If needed, these chips can be replaced, modified, and scaled up or down. In the future, there can even be multiple rows of microfluidic devices lined up, which would allow labs to run multiple iterations of an experiment at once, receiving a grid of data results immediately. The small size of microfluidic chips and their channels means smaller amounts of reagents can be used for results from large samples, helping labs eliminate excess cost and time.
Water Testing and Treatment:
The first end users we considered were wastewater treatment and testing facilities, and our initial product design was tailored to their specific needs. We created a two tank system, with filtration for large debris, for facilities to input wastewater that needed toxin sensing. Our design evolved since this initial stage, but our product remains a very useful addition to wastewater facilities processes. Having spoken directly with Deer Island Processing Engineer Caitlin Hunt, we understand that facilities such as the one she works at could benefit from on-site field testing. The AM1 and its ability to give timely results from even small sample sizes can assist in such process adjustments. Facilities would implement the AM1 throughout their system, using it as a detection tool for toxins like iron, phosphorus, and copper.
Use of the AM1 would allow a decrease in staff, as using only a small sample size would give results regarding large volumes of water. While the lab would remain functioning for more demanding procedures, the AM1 would be easy to implement at various locations in the plant. By placing it before and after sedimentation and chlorination/dechlorination stages, it can easily be used to detect whether the necessary toxins were removed, providing valuable insight on the functionality of the plant.
With the new three tank system adopted by our team, the AM1 can be used in a wider variety of liquid testing processes. In plants like Deer Island, water is simply inserted into our system without any adjustments to get real time accurate results. However in other locations, the simulation tank can be used to adjust the initially inserted water, through pH, dissolved oxygen concentration, salinity, or other factors. Once that liquid has been adjusted it can be tested again and its values compared to the control.
Our product has now evolved to include a system that can simulate a user chosen aquatic environment and can change that environment with slight modifications to parameters like pH, salinity, turbulence, temperature, ORP, and any other user chosen addition. By slightly modifying a user’s initial water input with each iteration, any newly developed biosensor can be tested to find where its most intense outputs occur. In this way scientists and researchers can test their biosensor to see where its results are less reliable or affected severely by outside factors, the parameters adjusted marginally within the AM1.
Looking further into the future, Aquamatic Technologies believes our product could evolve to become an essential component in the biosensor and general liquid testing fields.
Biosensor Research & Development:
It could help create an automated biosensor production line that uses our basic system as a tool for final adjustments on new biosensors. Regulating the liquid parameters that we chose or even new ones is possible due to the modularity of our system.
Water Testing and Treatment:
With time, the AM1 could become a more specialized tool used to study water, how its properties change with time, and levels of toxicity. Whether that be testing drinking water or wastewater, the importance of having a unified clear system for water testing is clear. And we're hear to accomplish that.
Labs operating on a higher scale would be able to implement a series of AM1’s all running simultaneously to receive more reliable results. During these large-scale trials researchers and scientists would no longer need to be present at the lab throughout its duration, as the AM1 has the ability to automatically pause when a problem arises and notify its user.
Also, experiments that depend on results from sequential trials, while time-consuming and unpredictable, are necessary for many studies. A future version of our system that Aquamatic Technologies has spoken about would include a series of AM1’s that receive input from the machine prior to them to know which experiment to prepare and follow through with. This automation would again decrease the time, cost, and manual labor involved with such research.
Demirkol, Dilek Odaci. “Dependence of the Biosensor Responses on Ph of the Buffer Solution.” Research Gate, https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Dependence-of-the-biosensor-responses-on-pH-of-the-buffer-solution-Measurements-were_fig4_360607555.
Dixon, Thomas A. “Sensing the Future of Bio-Informational Engineering.” Nature, 15 Jan. 2021, https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-20764-2
Fent, Karl, and Anna Weston. “Ecotoxicology of Human Pharmaceuticals.” Aquatic Toxicology, 15 June 2006.
Kim, Younghee. “Toxicity Characteristics of Sewage Treatment Effluents and Potential Contribution of Micropollutant Residuals.” Journal of Ecology and Environment, 25 Nov. 2017.
“New Selective Biosensor Made Using Synthetic Biology.” EuropeanPharmaceuticalReview, 26 July 2018.