Tech Briefs

Savannah River National Laboratory

Non-contact Monitoring of Biofilms and Corrosion on Submerged Surfaces

Technology Overview

Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) has developed systems and methods for monitoring microorganisms on a surface in submerged mediums.


  • Early identification of biofilm growth
  • Detect early stage corrosion to prevent systems failure


  • Environmental remediation
  • Corrosion monitoring
  • Contamination monitoring


Monitoring biofilms and corrosion on surface is important for applications such as bioremediation and waste containment. Monitoring the presence and growth of a biofilm, corrosion, and/or bio-corrosion is particularly useful in identifying contamination events leading to or resulting from spills, leaks, or other events. A flat, patterned electrode can be positioned proximate the surface to monitor and detect biofilm growth. This electrode uses electrochemical impedance spectroscopy to evaluate the impedance of a surface by applying an alternating current signal with a variable frequency through a pair of electrodes while measuring the resulting current. Changes in conductivity can correspond to cellular and microbial activity on the surface.

Intellectual Property

This technology and methods for its use have been granted U.S. Patent No. 10,234,376 B2 (March 19, 2019) “Non-Contact Monitoring of Biofilms and Corrosion on Submerged Surfaces with Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy” and is available for licensing.

Partnering Opportunities

SRNL invites interested companies with proven capabilities in this area of expertise to develop commercial applications for this process under a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) or licensing agreement. Interested companies will be requested to submit a business plan setting forth company qualifications, strategies, activities, and milestones for commercializing this invention. Qualifications should include past experience at bringing similar products to market, reasonable schedule for product launch, sufficient manufacturing capacity, established distribution networks, and evidence of sufficient financial resources for product development and launch.

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Contact Information

Savannah River National Laboratory