Updated on January 24, 2024


Created on September 11, 2019

The FRED System

The Field Ready Electrochemical Detector (FRED) is a biosensor platform to detect waterborne contaminants.

Developed By
  1. FREDsense
Content Partners


Product Description

The Field Ready Electrochemical Detector (FRED) is a biosensor platform developed by FREDsense Technologies to detect waterborne contaminants. Modified microbes designed to sense arsenic, manganese, iron, acidity, or other inorganic and organic contaminants are electrochemically detected. Results are ready in about an hour and can be obtained through a 3G, Wi-Fi, or USB connection.

Target SDGs

SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being

Market Suggested Retail Price


Target Users (Target Impact Group)

Household, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

Distributors / Implementing Organizations

The product is available from the manufacturer, FREDsense Technologies.

Manufacturing/Building Method

The FRED system is manufactured in-house in Canada and has manufacturing partners for device components (assembly is in-house as well). Interview with manufacturer

Intellectural Property Type


User Provision Model

This product is sold on the manufacturer’s website.

Distributions to Date Status

The product has been available for ~4 months, 12 kits have been deployed thus far. Interview with manufacturer

Test types included

Arsenic, iron, manganese, acidity, and other custom organic and inorganic contaminants

Equipment included

Cartridge for sample addition, portable detector

Tests per kit

One test per cartridge

Detection range

1 ug/L detection

Processing time for one sample (hr)

1 hour

Additional materials required

Cartridge with bacteria, connection for receiving detection results (3G, Wi-Fi, or USB connection on a computer, mobile device, or server)

Power required (yes/no)


Complete kit weight (kg)

3.2 kg

Design Specifications

A water sample is added to the cartridge. When the genetically engineered sensor bacteria detects the chemical they cleave a substrate in proportion to the specific chemical to produce a redox active species. The sample then diffuses to a screen-printed carbon electrode surface to undergo a reversible oxidation detected either via cyclic or square wave voltammetry. This electrochemical signal, incubated in the detector, is reported as a chemical concentration either through 3G, Wi-Fi, or USB connection on a computer, mobile device, or server. Tests take about one hour and are available for arsenic, manganese, iron, acidity, or can be customized for other chemicals. No additional chemicals or training is required, and detection is 1 ug/L.

Product Schematics

Technical Support

Provided by the manufacturer

Replacement Components

Cartridge for water samples


There is a warranty for two years, and the kit has a five-year estimated lifecycle due to needed upgrades to sensors. Interview with manufacturer

Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

1 ug/L detection in about 1 hour in the field, customizable sensors, no training or complicated procedures necessary, no toxic chemicals used

Vetted Performance Status

The kit was tested in an analytical lab and validation provided by first pilot customers validation.


No known safety hazards are related to this product

Complementary Technical Systems

Cartridge with bacteria, and a connection for receiving detection results (3G, Wi-Fi, or USB connection on a computer, mobile device, or server)

Academic Research and References

Mayall, R.M., 2017, Combining Electrochemistry and Biology to Create a Suite of Portable Biosensors for Water Analysis. 231st Electrochemical Society Meeting.

“Home –,” FREDsense Technologies, 14-Nov-2017. Available: https://fredsense.com/ 

Goal 6. (n.d.). Sdgs.un.org. Available: https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal6

R. M. Mayall, E. C. Hicks, M. M.-F. Renaud-Young, D. C. Lloyd, L. K. Oberding, and I. F. S. George, “System and methods for the detection of multiple chemical compounds,” 9689046, 27-Jun-2017.

“ECS Meeting Abstracts,” Iop.org. Available: https://iopscience.iop.org/journal/2151-2043 

“Technology –,” FREDsense Technologies, 13-Sep-2020. Available: https://fredsense.com/technology/

Compliance with regulations

Approved through Canada (Environment Canada) and US (EPA TOSCA)Interview with manufacturer

Evaluation methods

Evaluated for detection of arsenic, manganese, iron, acidity, and other organic and inorganic contaminants.

Other Information

FREDsense has been the recipient of several awards including the Singularity University Global Grand Challenge: Water, the first ever Energy New Venture Competition through the University of Calgary, and named an Imagine H2O finalist, and been awarded several other awards. Sensor usage steps  

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