New sensor for clean water – functionalized surfaces

We describe a successful collaboration between a university and different foreign partners in a field study.

Clean water is essential for life on earth; however, contamination of water resources by domestic sewage releases remains a concern for human health. This impact is greater in developing agricultural systems, industry, and urbanization but with a lack of investments in wastewater treatment. Newly developed sensors based on surface functionalization can detect these viruses with higher sensitivity than frequently used methods.

The benefits:

  • high sensitivity to particular viruses
  • high recovery rate of the sensor
  • cost-efficient

The partners

Feevale University in Brazil is a lighthouse in water quality management and pollution health impact due to pathogens in environmental waters. They want to monitor aquatic microbiological pollution.

Roana Melina de Oliveira Hansen is associated professor at SDU, MCI. She is working with surface functionalization for sensing.

In a collaboration Roana worked with a PhD student from Feevale University. The PhD student worked in sensor selectivity, functionalizing magnetic particles with an antibody to the pollution pathogen targets. She tested the method in environmental waters in Brazil and demonstrated good selectivity and sensitivity in pathogen detection. A valuable application for surface functionalization.

What made this innovation possible?

SDU got a grant from Danish government in 2017, for international network establishment. After a Workshop organized by SDU and hosted by Feevale University, she identified collaboration points.

Several students conducted collaborative research in Denmark.

Access and Acceleration provided a framework for the application of research with potential within the healthcare sector. It was fundamental to have this framework to obtain the resources for this research.


Read more in this publication:
Functionalized Surfaces as a Tool for Virus Sensing: A Demonstration of Human mastadenovirus Detection in Environmental Waters