Forging sustainability

ImageTox - Automatic detection of toxic microalgae through microscopic optical and hyperspectral infrared imaging
Coordinator - Alisa Rudnitskaya
Programme - Programa MAR2020
Execution dates - 2018-01-01 - 2020-09-30 (33 Months)
Funding Entity - IFAP - Instituto de Financiamento da Agricultura e Pescas, I.P.
Funding for CESAM - 211237 €
Total Funding - 211237 €
Proponent Institution - Universidade de Aveiro

"The main objective of the project is to develop an inexpensive, reagentless and easily automatable tool for the early detection and identification of microalgae species responsible for harmful algal blooms (HABs). This tool will be based on the statistical analysis of the microscopic optical images and hyperspectral infrared images of phytoplankton. The project will focus principally on the detection of the species of ictiotoxic algae and algae responsible for food poisoning, which are commonly detected on the Portuguese coast. Microscopic optical examination of algae is the method currently used for the algae identification of cell counts. Use of statistical methods for processing of the microscopic optical images will allow to automated analysis while decrease its cost and avoid human error. Hyperspectral infrared images contain both morphological information about algal cells´ shape and spatially distributed chemical information about their composition. Thus, differentiation of species of algae can be made not only based on the morphologic differences, but also on the differences in the chemical composition of different organelles, and the presence of toxins.
The implementation of the proposed tool will permit to increase number of analyzed samples due to automation and cost reduction. This tool will provide information about the presence of ictiotoxic algae, which are not currently monitored, and information about presence of algae responsible for food poisoning in the sampling locations currently not included in the monitoring programs and with higher frequency. This information will contribute to the more effective management of aquaculture production."

Members on this project

CESAM Funding: