Hi @All im writing to tell you more about the Tortuga Guardian project - http://tortugaguardian.org, which started during the Laboratorio de Innovacion Ciudadana in Costa Rica in 2019 - #LabICCR https://www.innovacionciudadana.org/LABICCR/pt/ from of a proposal that I submitted.
Among the 10 projects selected in the prototyping stage, we were selected for a later stage, POST LabIC as they are calling it. There are 5 projects that have continued and will receive an incentive to start developing the proposal, we are in the initial phase with a team of 8 researchers and developers to initially install 5 Tortugas Guardians and leave them in operation until the end of this year, at first 5 countries where our team members are: Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico, Uruguay and Australia.
We are in the development phase of the opensource microplastic sensor, using FTIR spectrometry and openCV image detection techniques;
Here is a list of articles about infrared spectrometry research for detection of microplastic particles in different sources: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FkqGtkY3t9O804kUIUCr8erDGM8K6NpF12QcMC_bfD8/edit?usp=sharing
The first 3 articles are the most relevant in terms of innovation because they are about the FTIR spectrometer in a microchip, the others are related to how well the technology is used for the detection of polymers and their markers.
We have in total including material values and taxes 10k Euros to start the project, supported until January 2021. It is not a big budget but it helps us to start development and open and citizen research, with the objective of publishing a article at the end of the homologation of the sensor that analyzes the concentration of microplastics in marine water in situ, in real time and completely open source with free licenses.
Im responsible for the technological coordination and spokesperson of the project, we are looking for partners to prospect for more Tortugas that join our network in the long term, certainly for that we need local articulation and citizen scientists in the nearby community. We are also concerned with making the incentive we receive income for research, development, purchase of materials, installation and training workshops throughout the year.
Our target audience is scientists and citizens who are in tune with the principles of open science and social technologies, in order to articulate the project as a device for public information on the marine ecosystem.
As the microplastic sensors are still under development to improve the quality of reading, we believe that the material costs at the beginning are a little higher than estimated, we are looking to save on technical infrastructure, such as monthly fees for hosting web servers and if possible get a partnership with other devices, mainly public ones such as universities and research institutes for the calibration of sensors by our team on a monthly basis.
I//happy to be able to share the project with you and whoever wants to show it, we are getting around the pandemic by thinking about training strategies and online support material, in addition to the dissemination of data and movement to authorities, scientists and environmental communication vehicles.
Im currently looking for news and updates on the possible commercial existence of any of the FTIR spectrometry microchips for the development of the embedded spectrometer, with sample titration through a system of 3D printed pumps in adapted cuvettes.
At first I did the research to find LED diodes in the wavelengths of the IR absorbing polymers. However, FTIR, even without the ATR technique, or RAMAN spectrometry can be useful in detecting these microplastic particles.
I disregarded the use of UV because it would be necessary reagents in the samples;
We started prototypes with 720, 860, 940nm IR diodes and photodiodes, but this is just the beginning of the MID IR spectrum and there may be plastic particles with types that react up to 3knm
Our website is still under construction but the video has subtitles> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ienOsKmb7cA