How one company used lab equipment in a new way to advance their product idea
After months of searching, a Quebec researcher-entrepreneur found the expertise he needed to test a one-of-a-kind oxygen-rich drink
Researcher-entrepreneur Daniel Sdicu, CEO of the company IVe État Inc. located in Granby, Que., searched for months to find the right partner to help him test a new product: bottled water enriched with oxygen.
The water, which Sdicu calls “ACKA” contains about 50 milligrams of dissolved oxygen per litre compared to the eight to 10 milligrams of oxygen per litre in regular tap water, which the company claims could have applications in health care, agriculture and more.
An important step toward testing those applications is to confirm the presence of millions of tiny oxygen bubbles in the water, since they are 1,000 times smaller than the carbon dioxide microbubbles in a can of soda and too small to be seen.
To find a partner who would help him verify the presence of the nanobubbles, Sdicu turned to the Research Facilities Navigator and connected with Marc Lavertu, director of the Biomaterials and Cartilage Laboratory at Polytechnique Montréal.
Sdicu approached Lavertu with an idea he hadn’t tested before: Could the oxygen nanobubbles be characterized using the lab’s NanoSight device, which is normally used to measure solid nanoparticles, not gaseous ones?
Lavertu and his grad student at the time, Étienne Jeandupeux, weren’t sure it could be done, “but it worked,” says Sdicu.
The researchers injected bottled ACKA water directly into the NanoSight and a camera inside captured the oxygen nanobubbles, which determined their size and confirmed their presence in the water.
According to Sdicu, the use of nanobubbles is an emerging field and not a lot of research has been done in Canada on its potential applications. Currently, only a few researchers have access to the tools needed to characterize them.
Sdicu says he plans to return to Lavertu’s lab to conduct new tests and verify the stability of the nanobubble concentration over time.
After that, Sdicu plans to test if the oxygen in ACKA water can pass from the digestive system to the bloodstream, which he suggests could increase oxygen levels in the body and potentially compensate for poor breathing.
“Doctors and researchers do not think it’s possible to oxygenate the system by the digestive tract, but we want to prove it’s possible,” says Sdicu.
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