About Us

ENVITOX is a biotechnology-based company which is active in the field of environmental and industrial monitoring. ENVITOX has been trying to incorporate biotechnological tools into monitoring solutions in the last 9 years. Environmental monitoring using lab technologies is normally expensive and inaccessible in most occasions. Portable devices and point-of-care monitoring is of utmost importance nowadays. Biosensor development for toxin detection is a priority for ENVITOX team.

Our team has focused on using microorganisms, living cells and biomolecules as reporting agents of environmental hazards. The main reason of using biological entities instead of other reporting agents is that they are the final target of every kind of toxin and we don’t have thorough knowledge of all the toxic material yet. The Research by ENVITOX team covers a wide array of bioreporters which mainly belong to bacteria, algae and fungi groups.

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Technology

Whole Cell Biosensors
Whole Cell Biosensors (WCBs) offers a unique advantage as the cell itself has the capability to sense a multitude of various types of small components including inorganic ions, proteins, hormones, antibodies, antigens, and other small molecules. The use of living cells as sensor elements provides high sensitivity to a wide range of biochemicals. Cells are equipped with highly specific and exquisitely sensitive recognition receptors and are smallest self-sustaining biological entity. In comparison with conventional detection methods such as nucleic acid or antibody-based assays, WBCs offer the potential to detect both known and unknown biomolecules because their physiological effects are not specific for certain compounds. Other advantages of nonspecific biosensors are that they can be used to measure mixed toxicants and also can detect unpredictable additive effects between chemicals in complex mixtures and in environmental samples. WCBs provide rapid and inexpensive analyses, can yield high throughput and sensitivity, need small sample size, and are easily convertible to portable biosensors. In some WCBs, changes in gene expression pattern are key indicators of abnormalities. WCBs in which gene expression is monitored normally use electrochemical or optical tools for monitoring of pollutants.
Bioluminescence Technology
Bioluminescent bacteria are recombinant cells which emit light as a byproduct of their metabolism. Light changes can be used as indicator of toxicity. It has been shown that using recombinant bioluminescent bacteria for toxicity monitoring leads to better sensitivity, continuous monitoring, short detection time and visible optic responses. In this type of biosensors, the signal intensity is related to the level of the cellular metabolism. Bacteria species such as Vibrio fischeri, Salmonella typhimurium, Escherichia coli, fungi species such as Armillaria mellea, Mycena citricolor and some other species have been used as bioreporter of toxicity in WCBs.
ENVITOX
During last several years, our team has engineered a strain of Escherichia coli, BR-110, with bioluminescent properties. The BR-110 bioreporter is responsive a waste array of toxic material including organics, inorganics and xenobiotics. ENVITOX-02 which is second generation device produces and is optimized in both bioreporter and electrical parts. This device is portable and provides rapid quantitative measurement of integral toxicity of samples of water and aqueous extracts, alcohols, air, soil, complex materials such as polymers.

Applications

ENVITOX is suitable for

Emergency response

Emergency response in case of biological contamination and toxicant spill

Water Monitoring

Monitoring of drinking water, natural fresh water, soil and air for the content of harmful substances

Toxicity-monitoring

Toxicity-monitoring of sediments and stormwater

Municipal Wastewater effluent

Daily monitoring of municipal wastewater effluent.

Quality control

Quality control of irrigation water for greenhouse and outdoor cultivation

Smart assessment

Smart assessment of industrial waste water, process water and discharges

Product testing


 Determination of the toxicity level of new products including drugs

Assessment of occupational hazards

Assessment of occupational hazards
 

Food safety control


 Food safety control
 

Articles and News

Cooling towers: hidden damage and cost of ownership

Many industries utilize open recirculating cooling water systems to reject heat to the atmosphere, through the process of evaporation, either by counterflow or crossflow process. The average life expectancy of an evaporative cooling tower is 15 – 25 years., before they need to be replaced or refurbished, at a cost of approx. $80,000 to $200,000


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30 Jun 2022

Water toxicity challenge and “Forever Chemicals”

Water quality is becoming a constant challenge for human beings. Since 2001, “Forever Chemicals” have been observed in almost in every part of the earth, from Everest Mountains to human breast milk. They are used in everything around us from wood coatings to firefighting foams. These chemicals, which are called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), are synthetic non-biodegradable carbon-fluorine rich substances.


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27 Apr 2022

What does organic content of water tell us about economy and health?

Water quality is unnoticeable and interpretation of its effects on different aspects of human life is difficult. A recent report dubbed Quality Unknown presents new and important data about effects of water quality on health, economy and environment. This report by world bank group clearly shows that water pollution is universal across developing and rich countries. Land use change, climate change, industrialization and escalation of agriculture are worsening water quality worldwide

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20 Feb 2022

Resource

These resources can be useful for accessing more information about our industry and the importance of this technology

United Nations Environment Programme

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

European Environment Agency

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10027 Yonge Street, Richmondhill, Ontario, Canada, L4C 1T7