Water Quality Analysis

Multiplex tests to detect pathogens and toxins in public water supply


Monitoring the quality of water is of paramount importance for public health. SCIENION’s commitment to develop efficient, sensitive and robust multiplex tests for water quality analysis is reflected by the company’s involvement in various research projects such as microAQUA or “Rheines Wasser”.

The development of efficient, sensitive, robust, rapid and inexpensive tests to monitor various aspects of water quality represents an essential milestone within the strategy for control and prevention of diseases caused by waterborne pathogens and by algal toxins.


In the EU-funded project microAQUA, twelve partners from eight countries collaborated to develop universal microarrays for the evaluation of fresh-water quality. MicroAQUA aimed to design and develop a microarray chip for the high-throughput detection of known and emerging pathogens (bacteria, viruses, protozoa and cyanobacteria) and to assess the water quality by monitoring the presence of select bioindicators such as diatoms.

The company developed the microarrays and provided the infrastructure and expertise for the production of the arrays and their analysis. This microarray was used for the analysis of the RNA extracted from environmental samples collected from fresh, brackish, marine and drinking water from different locations in six countries (Bulgaria, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Turkey).

“A key step on the preparation of the biochip is printing the microarray; here we can produce hundreds of small spots, less than a millimeter in diameter. The great advantage of this method is that we can get an answer almost immediately; in a day we can detect up to 150 different species in the water.”

Dr. Wilfried Weigel, VP of R&D at SCIENION