Sun, Jul 21, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Detector cuts water tests from days to minutes

By Jake Chung  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Wang Shau-chun, right, director of National Chung Cheng University’s Center for Nano Bio-detection, instructs a student on using a detector at a grouper farm in Chiayi County in an undated photograph.

Photo courtesy of National Chung Cheng University

Aquafarmers will be able to determine whether their fish are at risk of disease within 20 minutes using a detector developed by National Chung Cheng University’s Center for Nano Bio-detection, the university said on Wednesday last week.

The device — a project on which the center collaborated with the Industrial Technological Research Institute using the center’s patented “fiber-optic nano-bio-detector” — could help aquafarmers curb losses, center director Wang Shau-chun (王少君) said.

Smart aquafarming is when farmers know how to react to statistics on water temperature and salinity, and dissolved oxygen and ammoniacal nitrogen per liter, Wang said.

However, the most important statistic is the germs count, which is not included in standard statistics, he said, adding that farmers previously had to send water samples to a lab to get those results, which could take days.

By the time a report is delivered, the aquafarm might already be infected, affecting large numbers of fish, Wang said.

The detector is sensitive, able to detect even minute traces of viruses, and often yields better results than lab tests, he said.

It needs 0.1ml of water and results are produced in 10 to 20 minutes, Wang said, adding that the sensor can also detect pesticides.

Farmers can then administer drugs in a timely fashion, potentially preventing great losses, he said.

The detector has been trialed at high-value grouper farms in Yunlin, Chiayi and Nantou counties, Wang said.

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