Yi Sun

Safer drinking water can improve health for millions of people

Monday 17 Jun 19


Yi Sun
Groupleader, Associate Professor
DTU Health Tech
+45 26 67 39 98

About the project

Title: SWISS - Safe Water Index Sense using Biochemical Sensor

Budget: 6 million DKK.

Duration: 3 years (2019-2022)

Funded by: Innovationsfonden

About the project partners

  • Associate Professor Yi Sun’s group at DTU focuses on creating cutting-edge nanomaterials with novel structures and functionalities, and exploring their applications in biosensing and life science areas. They have extensive experiences in developing nanomaterial-based biosensors to enhance the sensitivity and multiplexing capability for detection of toxins and pathogens in food, environmental and clinical samples.
  • The C-DAC institute in Kolkata headed by Dr. Nabarun Bhattacharyya is the premier R&D organization of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) for carrying out R&D in IT, Electronics and associated areas. C-DAC has established core competencies in system automation, VLSI & embedded systems, high performance computing, and software technologies.

Hazardous substances in water resources, either occurring naturally or coming from industrial pollution, have reached alarming levels in recent years. Researchers at DTU Health Tech will develop an advanced online analytical system to monitor water quality in real time.

Water pollution has become a major public threat worldwide. Harmful contaminants – from lead to cadmium to copper – have been found in the drinking water of every single nation. Unsafe water kills 1.8 million people and sickens 1 billion people each year. It is important to monitor the status of contaminants in water on a regular basis. However, current analytical instruments are mainly laboratory-based, and high cost and long processing time limit testing.

"It does not make economic sense to use expensive analytical methods when most of the test samples are expected to be negative. As a promising alternative, our online monitoring system can screen water samples with much reduced cost and time, thereby providing the foundation for clean drinking water for more people all over the world."
Associate Professor Yi Sun, Department of Health Technology, DTU.

The purpose is therefore to develop a novel online analytical system that can measure contaminants in a continuous and cost-effective manner. The interdisciplinary project covers a number of advanced technologies, ranging from nanomaterials, biosensors to Internet of Things (IOT). The portable biosensor system can be actively integrated at different stages of the water supply chain, and is expected to achieve substantial time and cost savings for water quality control. The project will also provide a ‘water data bank’, which will be a collection of the water quality data at multiple sites. It will help the authorities in evaluating the nature and extent of pollution, and prioritizing pollution control efforts.

The project is under the framework of “Indo-Danish Research and Innovation Cooperation” between Innovation Fund Denmark (IFD), Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Department of Biotechnology (DBT), India. Two partners are involved: Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Denmark, and Center for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), India. 

Example of an electrochemical sensor (in collaboration with Associate Professor Stephan Sylvest Keller from DTU Nanolab). (Photo by Jesper Scheel)

News and filters

Get updated on news that match your filter.