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1st Generation ATP Test Methods vs 2nd Generation ATP Technology

Supplier: Royce Water Technologies
17 July, 2013

LuminUltra Technologies has made several advances in ATP monitoring technology that have solved the problems that have plagued 1st Generation ATP products, while still maintaining rapid and easy-to-use methods.

The result is a line of 2nd Generation ATP test kits that can be used to for microbial monitoring of almost any fluid samples, from drinking water to industrial process water, chemical products, and wastewater.

Development of Test Kits Tailored to Specific Applications

LuminUltra initially developed its first protocol for the measurement of in ATP wastewater samples. This has traditionally been a major challenge since wastewater samples are laden with interferences, inhibitors, and represent one of the most concentrated microbial populations that one can find in in any application.

Developing a reagent system advanced enough to minimise and/or neutralise inhibitors present in wastewater samples while accurately measuring all intra-cellular and extra-cellular ATP content allowed for the expansion of this 2nd Generation ATP technology into much cleaner samples.

As such, LuminUltra has identified a number of additional applications for its line of test kits such as drinking water, cooling water, fuels, and specialty chemical products (e.g. latex polymers, admixtures, paint).

Quantitative Sampling

While ATP 'pen' devices are the most common format due to their portability and convenience, LuminUltra decided to deviate slightly from this format to focus on accuracy rather than over-simplification. Pen devices – whether swabs or ribbed dipsticks – provide inaccurate incorporation of the sample into the test.

Microbial floc, clumps, slime masses, and filaments can be excluded from water picked up by ribbed dipsticks or swabs; they can also pick up 'clumps' of biomass that skew the result of the test. Failing to pick up and subsequently detect these components, which can be indicative of serious problems, is a serious drawback.

In addition, dipsticks only sample approximately 50μL of a fluid sample. This small sub-sample size may not provide a true representation of the entire sample. LuminUltra has developed its protocols to ensure precise sampling, whether it is 1mL, 10mL, 100mL or more, depending on the protocol used.

Complete Extraction/Recovery of ATP

Several wastewater samples were assayed using LuminUltra's QuenchGone21 Wastewater (QG21W) test-kit for total ATP (tATP). In conjunction, the samples were also assayed using three competitor ATP test-kits currently on the market. Refer to Table 1 for the test-kit comparison on wastewater samples.

In all tests, LuminUltra's QG21W total ATP protocol recovered significantly more ATP than the competing ATP tests. LuminUltra's advanced ATP protocol uses dilution and complex reagent formulations to minimise light quenching/inhibition, maximise intra-cellular ATP recovery (i.e. cell lysis), and stabilise both released intra-cellular ATP and extra-cellular ATP.