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B-PHOT joins CAPTURE network with expertise in water research


B-PHOT joins the CAPTURE Platform, an interdisciplinary collaboration between Ghent University, VITO, University of Antwerp and Vrije Universiteit Brussel. The CAPTURE initiative offers solutions related to resource recovery and aims to contribute to the circular economy. B-PHOT will offer its expertise in online and offline water monitoring as an associated member. We will further explore applications where our already-developed sensors can find their way as well as to explore new sensing concepts based upon light interaction for a brighter, lighter and healthier world.

"Several of our projects are related to optical detection and lab-on-chip in the domain of biophotonics sensing and environmental monitoring", says Prof. Heidi Ottevaere, coordinator of the collaboration. "Today B-PHOT participates in two EU MSCA-ITN networks: MONPLAS and xCLASS. B-PHOT joined the EU MSCA-ITN MONPLAS consortium with international players such as Renishaw, Bruker, Severn Trent, Wessling Hungary Ltd and Aigües de Barcelona to jointly develop new ways to detect microplastics in (drinking) water with lab-on-chip technology."

B-PHOT will develop different tools for a variety of application domains to detect e.g. dangerous microbial organisms or microplastics in drinking water. Think of miniaturized photonics-enhanced sensors or lab-on-chips using detection techniques such as absorption, fluorescence, scattering and Raman spectroscopy. These sensor systems can be made from commercial-grade or specialty polymers or optical-grade glasses and can be fabricated in-house using B-PHOT’s prototyping and pilot manufacturing line for mass manufacturable opto-microfluidic components.

Possible activities for B-PHOT in the CAPTURE network are:

  • Explore novel applications where miniaturized photonics-based sensors could help to improve the quality of water, determine types of plastic, etc
  • Develop proof-of-concept sensors: design, prototyping, testing, and manufacturing of high-end optical components and systems, if needed fully compatible with industry-scale production, and readily accessible for industry
  • Give tutorials on the role of photonics in resource recovery
  • Contribute to STEM and outreach activities

B-PHOT enters the CAPTURE Platform as part of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel partnership, launched in October 2020.


CAPTURE, as a platform, brings scientists together working on resource recovery, specifically on CO2, plastics and water (respectively the three CAPTURE-pipelines). The core partners at the moment are VITO, Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the universities of Antwerp and Ghent.

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