Microcystin is one of the harmful toxins produced by cyanobacteria. Although microcystins may occur in fish, molluscs and shellfish from water bodies with cyanobacterial over-growth, human exposure to microcystins happens mainly through drinking water or recreational water bodies.
According to the EU Drinking Water Directive 2020, the monitoring of total microcystin-LR concentration is mandatory for drinking water, and it is highly recommended in any stagnant water.
INL researchers have developed an automated monitoring system for total microcystin-LR. This monitoring system has dedicated modules for sample preparation and toxin detection, it is powered by a battery (able to work without an operator for 4 weeks), it has very high sensitivity and it is remotely accessible through a cloud platform.
This novel electrochemical sensing platform avoids the multiple processing steps typically needed for standard microcystin-LR analysis in the laboratory and provides an early warning system for remote monitoring in water.
INL strives to develop and deploy integrated and digital-based solutions for the comprehensive monitoring and selective elimination of water contaminants. This monitoring system was jointly developed by researchers from the Water Quality and Technology Engineering Groups.