Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPC

ICHNAEA A Software System for the Microbial Source Tracking Problem

Posted by Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPCResponsive · Patents for licensing · Spain

Summary of the technology

A software system for the Microbial Source Tracking (MST) problem has been developed in order to solve the problems of the current predictive models. It provides the accuracy and the precision of the prediction, the estimation for both the degree of dilution and the age of the pollution for the analyzed example. Partners to license the system and/or to establish commercial agreements along with technical cooperation are sought.

Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPC

The Challenge


Nowadays, faecal pollution in water is one of the main causes of health problems in the world, and is associated with several thousands of deaths per day, being a main vehicle of pathogen transmission. Microbial Source Tracking (MST) is a recently coined term that includes different methodological approaches that pursuit the determination of the origin of faecal pollution in water by the use of microbial or chemical indicators. Many studies exist that develop predictive models for MST, and most of them have been based on the definition of models at the point of source, assessing mainly the specificity and sensitivity of indicators or their combinations. Progressively, the need has arisen to assess the effects of the dilution of the contributions of faecal pollution in receiving waters as well as the persistence of these indicators on the environment. However, there still are many problems to face, including independence of geographical location, nature of the dominant faecal pollution contributions, persistence of indicators and their measured parameters, effects of dilution in watersheds and presence of complex mixtures from several distinct animal species.

The Technology


The invention is focused in a software system that represents a step forward in the solution of the general MST problem. The system accepts examples showing different faecal concentration levels (dilutions), uses indicators with different environmental persistence, and can be applied at different geographical or climatic areas, thus tackling many of the above open problems. The system can be trained by users with their own data matrix, developed with the MST indicators that they select within their geographical and climatic environment. Consequently, end users can adapt this software to the analysis of their results on routine MST studies. The developed prediction system is providing the accuracy and the precision of the prediction, the estimated degree of dilution and the age of the pollution for the analyzed example. Moreover, complementary MST indicators (among those constituting the user-supplied data matrix) are suggested to further improve on the confidence of the MST prediction.

Current stage of development


The system is ready for use. A Graphical User Interface (GUI) for remote access using Web Services technologies is currently under development

Applications and Target Market


The software system represents an step towards solving the current MST problems.
This new software could be of interest for analytical laboratories of microbial contamination, environmental agencies, research groups, etc.

Innovative advantages


· End-users can obtain a prediction of a MST sample based on their own training database using part or all of their routine parameters and indicators End-users can specify calculated die-offs of the measured parameters End-users can obtain feedback about the importance of the supplied parameters and indicators

Intellectual property status

Granted Patent
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License technology or establish commercial agreements Patent Status Copyright software registered g

Technology Owner

Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPC

Technology Transfer Office

Related keywords

  • Micro- and Nanotechnology related to agrofood
  • Agrofood Industry
  • Technologies for the food industry
  • Food Processing
  • Agriculture and Marine Resources
  • Agriculture
  • Food quality and safety
  • Dairy Products
  • microbial

About Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPC

Technology Transfer Office from Spain

The Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - BarcelonaTech is a public institution dedicated to higher education and research in the fields of engineering, architecture and science, which contributes its knowledge and expertise in order to increase scientific output, transfer its results to society and provide a network of scientific and technical state-of-the-art facilities and technology valorization services that place us at the leading edge of innovation and economic development.

The UPC has established itself as a driver of innovation and is the technology partner of choice for companies and organizations with which it develops projects and builds partnerships. A role borne out by the numerous agreements and research projects that have been set in motion by groups, organizations and laboratories; the creation of new technology-based companies; the generation and exploitation of patents, and the scientific and technical services UPC makes available to its environment in order to generate progress and employment.

The Technology Transfer Office (SGI) is responsible of Designing, coordinating and implementing research valorisation strategies, carrying out the protection policy of the research results, marketing these results through license contracts and designing and setting up the University's enterprise creation model in order to transfer the results of the research to the market, protect and commercialize these results, promote the culture of entrepreneurship and innovation, and create technology-based companies within the UPC environment.

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