Project Aim (RO/EN)


Pentru a proteja sanatatea publica ?i a ecosistemelor locale de efectele nocive ale substan?elor cu risc pentru organismele umane ?i a faunei salbatice este important sa fie monitorizata calitatea apei din re?eaua de apa. Uniunea Europeana urmare?te punerea în aplicare a planul strategic al Directivei Cadru Apa 2000/60 / CE. Orientarea actuala a UE cu privire la punerea în aplicare a regulamentelor pentru monitorizarea calita?ii apei include op?iunea de utilizare a unor instrumente online pentru a centraliza datele de conformitate in mod continuu. Instrumentele eficiente pentru detectarea rapida a antibioticelor în apa sunt urgent necesare ?i constituie nucleul acestei propuneri. Numai în Statele Unite, în fiecare an 3400 de tone de antibiotice sunt utilizate la pacien?i, în timp ce 8900 de tone sunt utilizate pe animale- 2015. Pâna la 85% din antibioticul nemetabolizat este excretat în urina / fecale de catre organismul uman. Se estimeaza ca animalele consuma de doua ori mai multe antibiotice decat oamenii. Exista dovezi despre aparitia microorganismelor rezistente la antibiotice care au fost gasite in apele uzate de suprafa?a, a apelor subterane si a apei potabile. Într-un raport din 2013 în ceea ce prive?te vânzarile antibioticelor sistemice din clasa J01, România a fost al treilea cel mai mare consumator de antibiotice din UE. Prezenta propunere are ca scop dezvoltarea unui sistem de senzori de calitatea apei, prin integrarea facilita?ilor tehnologiei fibrelor optice ?i smartphone. Sistemul se bazeaza pe senzori low-cost cu fibra optica (FOS), cu aria de sensing avand nanostructuri plasmonice (aur, Molecularly Imprinted Polymer si grafene). Bazat pe expertiza a doi parteneri se va începe la nivelul TRL2 ?i se va termina la TRL4. FOS ofera solutii robuste, fiabile ?i imune la interferen?ele electromagnetice, compatibile cu reteaua de telecom. Ele sunt adecvate în mod special pentru detectia in-situ, în timp real, conditii ce faciliteaza dezvoltarile viitoare.

Proiectul nSensOFWater propune dezvoltarea unui dispozitiv cu biosenzor SPR (Surface Plasmon Resonance) implementat cu fibra optica, portabil si avand interfata smartphone, pentru detectarea antibioticelor β-lactam (cele mai utilizate atat pentru oameni cat si uz veterinar) din apa (de baut sau reziduala). Aria de sensing se bazeaza pe detectia folosind efectul plasmonic. Efectul plasmonic permite dezoltarea de senzori pentru ‚label-free detection’ in timp real. Sistemul va contine arii de senzori (sensors array) pentru a permite detectia si clasificarea in paralel a mai multor analiti din esantioanele de apa.


Water safety is an important domain of global concern in actual trend to build smart city systems, to improve the quality of life and health of population. The analytical techniques for fast and selective detection and to identify dangerous chemical compounds are of very high practical importance. Water safety has been identified as a top priority by The European Commission. A class of dangerous substances were selected from amongst those presenting a significant risk to or via the aquatic environment and are listed as priority substaces(PS) and priority hazardeous substances (PHS) in Water Framework Directive. There are also other substances with potential risk for environment pollution, such as Endocrine disrupting compounds (EDC) or antibiotics that can enter the aquatic environment in particular via certain urban wastewater discharges or antibiotic use in agriculture/factory farms. Widespread use of antibiotics has led to pollution of waterways (according with ECDC-European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Romania is close to top level), potentially creating resistance among freshwater bacterial communities. Microorganisms resistant to commonly prescribed antibiotics (superbug) are being found dramatically increasing. That’s why, the World Health Organization (WHO) declare antibiotic resistance a ‘major threat to public health. Approximately 25 000 European citizens die every year from infections caused by bacteria resistant to antibiotics. Current research in life science, discovery of new pharmaceuticals, early medical diagnosis, water and food safety are all strongly dependent on the ability to detect analytes from specific samples (environmental or body fluids) or to study interactions between molecules. The present research proposal aims to provide an optical device capable for sensitive detection of one major class of most used drugs in water (drinking water and wastewater), β lactams antibiotics. The presence of such drugs in surface waters in both their unmetabolized and metabolized form is off interest for humans due to daily exposure to small quantities that cumulated could lead to development of drug resistance to antibiotics or to multiplying cases of allergies. Pollution of water by pharmaceuticals is a general environmental problem and of special concern in Romania. This requires routine monitoring of pollutants in relation with the risk of long-time exposure for human health. Conventional methods used to quantify pharmaceuticals are relatively expensive and generally require long analysis time associated with the difficulties to perform field analyses. In this context, the nSensOFWater project proposes to develop a Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) based optical biosensor device that is portable and possesses a smartphone-assisted interface. It offers great potential for a broad range of analytical applications (members of the project team are already involved in obtaining biosensing applications), but this project is concerned with demonstrating its use in water analysis and its quality assessment.

One class of pharmaceuticals have been selected as primary targets in this study: β- lactam antibiotics, one of the most used antibiotic, for both human and veterinary uses. They have been selected as targets in this work, according to their high biomedical and pharmaceutical usage in Romania. β- lactam antibiotics consisting of all antibiotic agents that contain a β-lactam ring in their molecular structures. This includes penicillin derivatives, cephalosporin, monobactams and carbapenems. β-lactam antibiotics are indicated for the prophylaxis and treatment of bacterial infections caused by susceptible organisms. At first, β-lactam antibiotics were mainly active only against Gram-positive bacteria, yet the recent development of broad-spectrum β-lactam antibiotics active against various Gramnegative organisms has increased their usefulness. In case of remarkable results will, other4/16 antibiotics could be detected (quinolones and tetracyclines). Also other complex matrices (like milk) can be investigated in the future. The most used conventional methods to quantify pharmaceuticals in water are gas chromatography with mass spectrometry (GC-MS) or tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS), and liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry (LC-MS) or tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) .These analytical techniques are able to detect target compounds down to the nano-gram per liter. However, these efficient methods display some drawbacks like expensive laboratory instruments, they require skilled technicians, time-consuming separation/clean-up methodologies, long analysis time, extensive sample handling with multiple washing steps, use of expensive and pollutant solvents and the difficulty to perform rapid field analyses. Electrochemical sensors could be an alternative but due to the extreme oxidation potential of antibiotics only boron doped diamond could be used for their detection. Therefore, optical methodologies were considered in this project for the development of rapid and low-cost multi-analytic sensor able to detect a wide variety of pollutants. Among these techniques, optical based methods appear as a pertinent alternative as they are fast and could easily be miniaturized to achieve portable sensors. In this context, analysis using specific detectors are the subject of increasing interest as a way to design specific and sensitive sensors. The achievement of such sensors requires the use of nanomaterials that could be specific for the pollutants. A commercial system exploiting optical sensing scheme based on SPR principles, the BIAcore system has been on the market since 1999 and still presents interest, but is a lab-based system (not portable). The development of a portable, compact, easy-to-use, fiber-optics based device, incorporating nanostructured sensing surface and smartphone interface will offer significant advantages, addressing the need for rapid and reliable screening of fresh waters in basins, rivers and reservoirs.

 The project begins from TRL2 and will end in TRL4 as an experimental demonstrator (ED) device, in a state that shows it’s functionality, but should be further refined in order to realize a finite device (i.e. a saleable product).