IRTA - Institut d'investigació de la Generalitat de Catalunya, Spain
The Alarmtox project aims to develop trials and biosensors for the detection of biotoxins of aquatic environments to ensure the quality of the water and provide bivalve safe for human consumption. In many areas of the coastal State, the bivalve aquaculture represents an important economic activity, both in absolute terms of production, as an element of tourist attraction. The presence of micro-algae produce toxins (ficotoxinas), may deteriorate the quality of the shellfish destined for human consumption, producing various gastrointestinal and dermatological pathologies in consumers. On the other hand, microalgae, can also cause serious changes in the biodiversity of the river and coastal, ecosystems with important agricultural and environmental consequences (imbalance of the ecosystem and poisoning of livestock). In addition, detection in the seafood-producing areas involves its stagnation and the consequential economic losses for producers. Surveillance in the seafood-producing areas is conducted regularly, by various agencies, as it is the case of the Irta in Catalonia. Therefore, the improvement in the detection of these bio-toxins, both at the level of sensitivity and speed, is key in order to guarantee greater security to consumers.