Biofilm & Sensors Platform: Sensor validation for reliable online detection of biofilms

Pathogenic biofilms cause huge economic damage every year in industrial environments and endanger public health and the survival of companies (hospitals, food industry, swimming pools, etc.). Biofilm in the energy industry results in biological corrosion of metal equipment, reduction of heat transfer in heat exchangers and increased friction that impedes the flow of water.

In many industrial applications, operators rely primarily on conventional microbiological offline detection methods. Although these methods can provide very accurate data, they are rather slow and usually labor intensive. Continuous online monitoring for monitoring the growth of biofilm therefore has major advantages, provided that the measurements are reliable. Recent developments in online biofilm detection methods promise an effective and economically interesting early-warning system, with which the formation of an adult biofilm with a stronger structure can be prevented.

The purpose of the Biofilm & Sensors platform is to develop a uniform method for rapid, reliable and accurate prevention and control of biofilms. To achieve this goal, different biofilm monitor sensors, using different measurement principles, will be assessed and compared with conventional offline methods (standard microbiological analyzes, counting of bacterial viability). This should provide reference values ​​and new knowledge about their potential applicability in various industrial sectors, but also hospitals that are confronted with undesirable biofilm formation. These results should ultimately lead to a reliable early warning system based on online and real-time monitoring. The research is partly carried out by students in a unique public-private partnership, involving both technology suppliers and end users and where product and process development are directly linked to industrial applications.

Do you want to know more about the platform and the possibilities to participate? Feel free to contact business developer Länk Vaessen via l.vaessen@cew.nl or tel. +31 58-2100919.

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