Approval just received for a new EU funded project!

We are delighted to be partners in a new project that has recently been approved for H2020 EU funding: Holifab: Holistic digital-to-physical prototyping and production pilot for microfluidic MEMS. It is due to start soon….

Keep up to date here for more details!




Marine sensors for the 21st Century

Start Date: 1 October 2013 ; End Date: 30 September 2017

Summary of Project:

SenseOCEAN brings together world leading marine sensor developers to create a highly integrated multifunctional and cost-effective in situ marine biogeochemical sensor system. The marine environment plays an essential role in the earth’s climate as well as providing resources, recreational opportunities and acting as a vital transportation route. However, the inherent vastness of the oceans means that our ability to monitor the health of this important system remains limited.

This project will provide a quantum leap in the ability to measure crucial biogeochemical parameters. Innovations will be combined with state of the art sensor technology to produce a modular sensor system that can be deployed on many platforms. Prototypes will be optimised for scale-up and commercialisation.

TelLab’s contribution:

TelLab’s main involvement is in Work Package 1 Development of Core Technologies, where we are working on achieving cost savings, by leading the development of a cassette-based reagent / standard pack that can be replaced by the user (even in the field). This directly addresses the complexity and cost of the existing state of the art microfluidic systems. We are also involved in the Exploitation and Dissemination tasks of the project.

For more details regarding the project and our partners, please go to


Next Generation Analytical Platforms for Environmental Sensing

Start Date: 1 December 2013 ; End Date: 31 May 2017

Summary of Project:

This project investigates ways to deliver revolutionary advances in liquid/sample handling combined with new approaches to performing sensitive in-situ analytical measurements. The goal of the project is to drive down the unit cost of these instruments by orders of magnitude to levels that can create a tipping point, at which the technology becomes ubiquitous.


Novel technologies that will contribute significantly to the realisation of next generation autonomous analytical instruments for distributed environmental monitoring.

New services based on the information generated by these instruments in real deployment scenarios.

Photoactuated polymer valve structures fully integrated within microfluidic channels.

Highly sensitive detector integrated with microfluidics sample preparation.

Photocontrolled functions such as filtering, preconcentration, uptake and release, surface activation/passivation.

TelLab’s contribution:

TelLab’s role within this project focuses on the development of a portable pre-concentration method for analytes using reverse osmosis, e.g. Ammonia, Phosphate, Nitrate, Nitrite, Iron, Manganese. Potentially this system can be used where the concentration of analytes is lower than the Limits of Detection.

TelLab is the leader of Work Package 3 “Sampling and Pre-concentration” and Work Package 8 “Deployment of systems;” we are also responsible for the deployment of prototypes and are involved in all dissemination and exploitation activities.

For more details regarding the project and our partners, please go to



Advanced Technologies for Water Resource Management

Start Date:    1 Dec 2009 End Date:  30 Nov 2013

Summary of Project:

ATWARM (Advanced Technologies for Water Resource Management) was a Marie Curie Initial Training Network funded by the EC FP7 People Programme.

ATWARM had 7 Network Partners in the UK, Germany and Ireland, and was coordinated by the QUESTOR Centre at Queen’s University Belfast (UK).

The fundamental objective of the ATWARM ITN was to enhance the career prospects of 16 young researchers by providing them with greatly enhanced scientific and technical knowledge as well as multidisciplinary skills and business aptitudes that will contribute to security of water quality and quantity for future generations within the EU.

The main S&T objectives in the ATWARM proposal were to develop advanced technologies for enhancing: performance and/or sustainability of water and wastewater treatment plants water quality, including advanced technologies for analysis and monitoring.

Each ATWARM researcher carried out research on a specific project and was mentored by an appointed supervisor from one of the academic or industrial partners. Researchers were seconded to other Network Sites mid-way through their research project so that they would have a broader knowledge of the complete ATWARM scientific programme and its objectives.

The ATWARM project helped to move the industry forward. Each of the 16 participating researchers undertook a separate project – some in the development of technology which was quite close to market. Others worked on cutting-edge science and although this work was very much lab-based, this work also had excellent commercial potential.

TelLab’s contribution:

TelLab’s work included the development of a standard method for Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon (TPH) analysis to be used in environmental laboratories and industry.

The requirements were:

  • To meet European and national regulations
  • To be cost effective
  • To be applicable to different types of water (sea, waste, ground and surface-water)
  • To cover a wide range of hydrocarbons.

For more details regarding the project and our partners, please go to



Creating and testing a method for controlling the air quality based on a new biotechnological tool. Use of a devitalized moss clone as passive contaminant sensor

Start Date: 1 April 2012 End date: 31 March 2015

Summary of Project:

The aim of the MOSSCLONE project was to develop and implement a method to control the air quality by using a devitalized moss clone as a passive contaminant sensor.

The MOSSclone partners from universities, as well as small and medium enterprises situated across Europe, collaborated to develop a novel, precise and inexpensive method to monitor air contamination, especially heavy metals. MOSSclone was the cultivation of a peat moss under controlled laboratory conditions, on a large scale to produce a highly pure homogenous material. These moss plants were inactivated and the surface structures transferred to air-permeable bags under fabrication conditions. These moss-bags were then deployed in monitoring stations at a variety of different European locations and were assessed with regard to their capability to accumulate pollutants from the air.

Why Mosses?

Living plants are already in use as biological indicators as they take up and accumulate pollutants. Mosses are especially well suited as bio-indicators for airborne pollution as they have no roots and a very high surface-to-mass ratio.

TelLab’s contribution:

Our main tasks involved using the ICP-MS for monitoring heavy metals; the results obtained by the Mosspheres were compared with results obtained by particulate matter samplers, which have been the favoured approach to assessing ambient air quality.

With these results, the optimisation of deployment conditions was developed e.g.  length of deployment, type of bag or container for deployment, deployment height.

This project illustrated that Mosspheres can identify pollutants: metals e.g. Aluminium, Arsenic, beryllium, Calcium, Cadmium, Chromium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Nickel, Lead, Selenium, Vanadium, Zinc as well as Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, dioxins and pesticides.  The Mosspheres can also identify pollutant emission pollutant maps.

TelLab were also involved in the exploitation and dissemination activities of this project.

For more details regarding the project and our partners, please go to:



Deployable early warning pollution device for applications in water

Start Date:  1 December 2013 End Date: 30 November 2015

Summary of Project:

The aim was to develop a portable, deployable early warning pollution device using state-of-the-art microfluidic and lab on a chip technologies for water quality protection. Based on market research, it was identified that the water sector needed an affordable, real-time monitoring device to improve the detection of pollution incidents. The device was developed to detect phosphate, nitrate, nitrite, and pH.

The consortium was made up of six partners in total: two academic partners and four small/ medium enterprises (SME) partners including TelLab.

TelLab’s contribution:

As coordinators of the project, TelLab was involved in all Work Packages of this project with a key emphasis on the development of the analytical chemistry techniques used to detect the analytes of phosphate, nitrate, nitrite, and pH.

Development of an effective exploitation and dissemination strategy was key in the success of this project and included attendance at many well attended European and international trade shows, e.g. Analytica and Arablab.

For more details regarding the project and our partners, please go to:


Water Network Sensors for Widespread Use

Start Date: 1 September 2013 End Date: 29 February 2016

Summary of Project:

The Widesens project aimed to develop an innovative probe based on microelectronic sensors to achieve a feasible widespread use of sensors in water networks management.

The Widesens probe has been completed and it currently measures:

  • pH 4,5-10,5
  • Conductivity 0-3000 μS/cm
  • Redox-potential 100-400 mV
  • Free Chlorine 0-1.2 mg/l
  • Pressure 0-10 bars

These parameters have demonstrated to be crucial for the evaluation of the quality of the water supply and for leak detection. Importantly, WIDESENS uses a low energy autonomous telemetry system and a user-friendly software application that can provide reports and trending data.

TelLab’s contribution:

The R & D team worked on the validation and testing of the Widesens system in a laboratory setting and also in real life environments; real life testing was performed at TelLab´s premises in the internal water circuit of the building and in the water network of the city of La Coruña. TelLab was the Dissemination Manager for the project which included the setting up of the website, the production of a video at the end of the project and the attendance at European and International Trade Shows.

For more details regarding the project and our partners, please go to



A novel swimming pool water treatment for the detection and elimination of excess cyanuric acid

Start Date: 1 July 2014 End Date:  30 June 2016

Summary of Project:

Poolsafe’s aim was the development of an effective and efficient solution to the cyanuric acid (CYA) problem, prevalent in swimming pools, through the development of a soft sensor to monitor the levels of CYA and other pool water quality parameters, as well as a simple, cost-effective method for degrading excess CYA, using photocatalysis.

Through the development of the novel sensor and the degradation of CYA, POOLSAFE reduces the environmental impact of swimming pool maintenance by eliminating the need to periodically replace the pool water, providing improved water quality and safety to bathers.

TelLab’s contribution:

TelLab led the Dissemination and Exploitation Work Package which included the preparation of an Exploitation Plan for the use of project results, the management of the background and foreground Intellectual property related to the project and the preparation of a Dissemination Plan. As part of the Dissemination Plan, TelLab was responsible for the creation and updating of the project website, Linked in and Twitter pages, attendance at trade fairs and the creation of a commercial brochure.

For more details regarding the project and our partners, please go to


common sense

Cost-effective sensors, interoperable with international existing ocean observing systems to meet EU policy requirements.

Start Date:  1 November 2013 ; End Date: 28 February 2017

Summary of Project:

This project aims to develop integrated and effective data acquisition systems by developing innovative sensors that are interoperable with international existing ocean observing systems to meet EU marine policies such as the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the Common Fisheries Policy.

TelLab’s contribution:

TelLab’s main involvement is in the following Work Packages (WPs):

  • WP 2 Integrated basis for cost-effective sensors development
  • WP 5 Sensors for in-situ monitoring of Eutrophication
  • WP 7 Sensors for in-situ monitoring of heavy metals

Our tasks include extensive laboratory testing and comparing of reference samples with the sensor results. We are also involved in the dissemination and exploitation of the project through attendance at Trade Shows where details of all of our European projects are promoted.

For more details regarding the project and our partners, please go to


Ongoing Projects

ACTTiVAte Projectacttivate

Start Date: 1 Dec 2017   End Date: 31 Jan 2018

This project is supported by the ACTTiVAte project consortium and is financed by the EU’s Horizon 2020 Program under Grant Agreement 691473. It supports innovative SMEs to enable the emergence of new cross-border and cross-sectoral value chains through fostering technology transfer within four sectors with strong synergies: Aerospace, Agro-food, Health and ICT.  ACTTiVAte experts provide support through the provision of business support services such as training workshops, mentoring, brokerage events, mobility exchange programs and investment forums to ensure the innovative projects develop a marketable product.

Tellab will combine three technologies in an innovative way to produce a soil monitoring sampler for the agro food industry.

For more details regarding the project and partners please go to


Holifab – Holistic digital-to-physical prototyping and production pilot for microfluidic MEMS

Start Date: 1 Nov 2017     End Date: 31 Oct 2020

This project is funded H2020-EU.2.1.2. – INDUSTRIAL LEADERSHIP – Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies – Nanotechnologies. It aims at a holistic new design strategy, coordinated pilot lines and business model for the prototyping, fabrication and commercialization of polymer-based microfluidic systems. It stems from the recognition that a microfluidic chip is a key part of a microfluidic MEMS, but only a part. Many limitations to fast prototyping, industrialization and ultimate performances lie not in the chip itself, but in the world-to-chip connections and integration of multiple external components. We shall address in a single strategy the streamlined construction of whole microfluidic systems, starting from existing pilot lines in injection moulding, 3D printing and instrument construction.

First, the resolution of 3D printing will be increased by a factor at least 10, down to 1~3μm, with a throughput 10 to 100x higher than that of current high resolution 3D printing machines, to support the flexible production of chips with complex 3D architectures. New soft, bio, environment-friendly and/or active materials will be integrated in the production chain using a technology patented by the partners. Large-scale markets requiring mass production at the lowest cost will be addressed by a fully integrated pilot line, streamlining injection moulding of raw chips, reagents and components integration, sealing and quality control. Intercompatibility between 3D printing and injection moulding, regarding architectures and materials, will be developed to accelerate the prototype to product value chain. After development and upscaling, the technology will be demonstrated and qualified in operational environment by end-users with lab-on-chip applications in health (cancer diagnosis, organ-on chip) and environment (water control).

TelLab’s Contribution

Tellab will demonstrate environmental applications of the prototype devices with deployments in the field, and will perform validation through evaluation against comparative techniques in the TelLab ISO 17025 accredited laboratory.

For more details regarding the project and our partners, please go to


Improved decision-making in contaminated land site investigation and risk


Start Date: 1 Jan 2015 ; End Date: 31 December 2018

Summary of Project:

REMEDIATE is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action (MSCA) funded Innovative Training Network (ITN). The network is made up of 10 beneficiaries from five EU member states – the UK, Ireland, Germany, Denmark, and Italy – and 10 partner organisations. All participants in the project are committed to providing innovative research and training for more cost effective and sustainable remediation of contaminated land.

A total of 14 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) have been recruited and will take part in a structured and integrated research and training programme to provide them with a highly specific blend of personalised technical and transferable skills.

Each research project is designed to benefit the contaminated land sector through development of techniques and tools across a range of disciplines relating to site investigation and risk assessment, to provide better-informed solutions for remediation.

The researchers will receive joint supervision from both academic and industry mentors which will enhance their career prospects.

TelLab’s contribution:

TelLab will host and supervise an Early Stage Researcher as part of Work Package 2, Environmental chemistry and toxicology approaches to site assessments. The ESR will develop improved methodologies for investigation of complex environmental chemistry of contaminated land while improving the understanding of contaminant distribution. Integrated measurement of the toxicological impacts of contamination and the fraction of contaminant that is bioavailable will deliver more complete understanding of the impact of contamination on potential receptors.

For more details regarding the project and our partners, please go to


Optimising and Enhancing the Integrated Atlantic Ocean Observing System

Start Date:  1 April 2015 ; End Date: 31 July 2019

Summary of Project:

The vision of AtlantOS is to improve and innovate Atlantic observing by using the Framework of Ocean Observing to obtain an international, more sustainable, more efficient, more integrated, and fit-for-purpose system contributing to the Trans-Atlantic Research Alliance, the GEO (Group on Earth Observations) global initiative Blue Planet, and GOOS (Global Ocean Observing Systems). Hence, the AtlantOS initiative will have a long-lasting and sustainable contribution to the societal, economic and scientific benefit arising from this integrated approach. This will be achieved by improving the value for money, extent, completeness, quality and ease of access to Atlantic Ocean data required by industries, product supplying agencies, scientist and citizens.

TelLab’s contribution:

The R & D Department are partners in Work Package 6 Cross-cutting issues and emerging networks. TelLab is working closely with the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), Southampton who is the leader of this Work Package.

This Work Package will enhance Integrated Atlantic Ocean Observing System IAOOS capabilities to sample water and particles for biological and (meta)genomic analysis, through sensor and development and TelLab’s main contribution is in the development of a marine sampler.  Additionally, as an SME, TelLab will help to develop the role of European industry in ocean sensors and instrumentation markets.

For more details regarding the project and our partners, please go to


Managing soil and groundwater impacts from agriculture for sustainable intensification

Start Date: 1 April 2016 ; End Date: 20 March 2020

Summary of Project:

Inspiration is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action (MSCA) funded Innovative Training Network (ITN). Agriculture is vital to Europe’s prosperity. However, while agricultural production in Europe has significantly increased food security it has also damaged soil and water resources and ecosystem biodiversity and contributed to climate change.

With the global population predicted to grow to 9.1B by 2050, it is estimated that current food production must increase by 60% to meet this demand. Demand for water is also expected to grow by the same amount by 2025, much of it required to support irrigated agriculture. Further intensification of production to support population growth must be sustainable to minimise future environmental impacts and negative externalities.

Sustainability is critically underdeveloped in European farming practices. However, it can reduce the environmental impacts of commercial-scale farming in Europe and increase the productivity of poor quality land in urban and industrialised areas, which may be contaminated. This offers huge opportunities to restore degraded land to re-use, return this asset to communities, ensure local food supply and increase the agricultural capacity of urban land, otherwise unsuitable for commercial-scale farming. It contributes to food security, by reducing the need for new land elsewhere. This is possible in many European cities, outlying areas and peripheral rural environments.

Addressing this challenge and improving Europe’s soil and water resources for future agricultural use requires innovative sustainable management concepts, which must consider environmental, technical, social and economic factors. Decision-making frameworks and predictive tools must also be developed to implement sustainable agricultural practices and devise measures to mitigate impacts. These approaches must be developed from the farm- to catchment-scale within European agricultural landscapes. This requires an integrated analysis represented in the INSPIRATION (managinsoil and groundwater impacts from agriculture for sustainable intensification) project.

TelLab’s contribution:

TelLab will host and supervise an Early Stage Researcher as part of Work Package 4, Mitigation of soil and groundwater impacts from agriculture using mixed waste media. The ESR will identify various suitable locally-sourced raw/waste materials (nutrient rich) in partner countries which are safe to recycle back onto land.

For more details regarding the project and our partners, please go to

irish research

Developing a portable Ion Chromatography system for nutrient analysis in water

Colorimetric detection of heavy metals in water

Start Date: 1 September 2015 ; End Date: 31 August 2019

PhD Student: Eoin Murray 

Eoin has a BSc (Hons) in Chemical and Environmental Science from the University of Limerick and a first-class MSc degree in Analytical Chemistry from University College Cork. Eoin has worked with Teagasc, the Food and Agriculture Authority of Ireland analysing both the chemical and physical characteristics of a large range of soil types throughout the country. He has also contributed to the development of the Irish soil type map of Ireland.

Prior to his PhD, as a Research Scientist within T.E. Laboratories, he was responsible for the development of chemistries for integration onto microfluidic platforms and performed research associated with the multiple European and International projects which TelLab are involved in.

Summary of Project:

This is an Irish Research Council funded industrial based PhD.

Eoin’s PhD involves the development a portable Ion Chromatography system for the analysis of inorganic anions in fresh water matrices. The aim of the PhD is to have a product ready for commercialisation by the end of his project.

Ion Chromatography (IC) allows for the separation and analysis of ionic analytes on the basis of different charge properties. For anionic analysis, positively charged groups on the stationary phase attract solute anions; these anions momentarily bind to the stationary phase and are subsequently eluted by the mobile phase and are detected by the detector. IC is the gold stand for analysis of anions in water. The aim of this project is to develop a portable and affordable IC system that can detect anions in the water, while providing reliable analytical results with high temporal resolution.


Optimised self-calibrating microfluidic systems for in-situ environmental monitoringlu-logo

Start Date: 05 December 2016; End Date: 31 May 2020

PhD Student: Nile Quane

Nile has a first class BSc (Hons) in Physics with Biomedical Sciences from Dublin City University. In DCU, Nile’s final year project was based on design optimisation of microfluidic platforms using CFD simulations, supervised by the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute.

Summary of Project:

The research is a joint venture between T.E. Laboratories and Lancaster University. Water analysis testing is typically completed using manually obtained samples sent for laboratory analysis. This is both infrequent and laborious. In-situ sensors are becoming increasingly common in environmental monitoring due to their ease of deployment, more frequent testing and regulatory pressure such as the EU Water Framework Directive. Some issues in long-term sensor deployment include cost, sensor lifetime and data quality over the deployment period. Frequent servicing is infeasible for numerous deployed sensors, particularly where these are in hard-to-reach or otherwise inaccessible locations. Nile’s PhD looks at adaptation of the company’s Aquamonitrix device to improve sensor quality and deployment time.