Aquatest incubator is a low-cost phase-change incubator initially designed for microbiological water testing particularly in conjunction with the Aquatest kit. However, it can also be adapted for other fields, including clinical microbiology, environmental monitoring, and sample transport. The portable and user-friendly incubator does not require an electrical power supply for testing.
The Aquatest incubator was developed as part of the Aquatest project. This was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. There was only a limited number produced for trials and evaluation. The incubator worked well, although the Aquatest device itself was less successful, therefore the product itself is discontinued for now. Interview with representative, August 2020
SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
Market Suggested Retail Price
Target Users (Target Impact Group)
Distributors / Implementing Organizations
This product was supposed to be implemented by 17 organizations in 16 countries especially through water suppliers, health surveillance agencies, international NGOs, and researchers.
This product is produced and assembled by the University of Bristol in the UK.
Intellectural Property Type
User Provision Model
Distributions to Date Status
The Aquatest incubator is a small and portable microbiological water testing device that weighs around 2 Kg. The device doesn't require any power source for operation. It utilizes a vacuum flask to provide a high level of insulation and a phase change material (PCM) to store energy in the form of latent heat. The incubator works on the heat transferred from the boiling water to the PCM. 500 mL of boiling water is poured on the incubation chamber of the device and after 30+ mins the water is thrown out of the chamber as the heat would already melt the PCM material inside and make it ready to use. The temperature inside the flask is automatically maintained around 37ºC which is the adequate temperature for the growth of E. coli bacteria. The sample is then put inside the incubator and allowed to rest for 24 hr before the analysis.
None available, this product is discontinued.
Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters
The Aquatest incubator was designed to be a simple, cost-effective, portable, power-free, and easily adaptable E.Coli incubator for water testing.
Vetted Performance Status
The product was tested by WHO, OXFAM, UNC Water Institute, Kinneir Dufort.
No known safety hazards are related to this product.
Complementary Technical Systems
Aquatest testing device, Aquatest UV lamp
Academic Research and References
Matthews, R., 2014, Use of phase change material for microbiological incubators: designing for low resource settings (Doctoral dissertation, University of Bristol).
Moreover, Aquatest also cites a list of research articles produced by participants of the Aquatest Project.
Compliance with regulations