Rainbow Biosystem

A fish cell-based biosensor

for water monitoring and management

About Us

The significant amounts of contaminants entering fresh water bodies call for the development of rapid and reliable methods to monitor the aquatic environment and to detect water toxicity. We have developed the Rainbow BiosystemTM, an automated, fish cell impedance-based biosensing system for detecting water toxicity, which has overcome many of the limitations of currently available biosensors and bioassays for water quality evaluation.

Rainbow BiosystemTM can be used in fresh water bodies all around the globe in both developed and developing regions, and in various applications including water monitoring, on-site chemical impact assessment, ecosystem conservation, early warning, etc.

Venture 2017

Introduction Rainbow Biosystem


The Rainbow BiosystemTM system is portable, consisting of a device and a biochip. The entire process is automated, and the display area outputs data that can be monitored on remote devices or mobile phones. Users have the options to store, transfer and share data. Rainbow BiosystemTM can be applied at any occasions on-site or off-site of the water sources, returns real-time data that are representative for both in vitro and in vivo toxicity, provides testing results that are interpretable by both expert and non-expert users, and does not require specific skills or equipment for handling. The product is a first creation of its kind, and is intrinsically protected by its design and the uniqueness of the cell line developed by one of its inventors.


The Rainbow Biosystem Team


Vivian received her Master of Science (2007) and PhD (2010) degrees in biomedical sciences from the University of Bonn in Germany, and Master of Philosophy degree in bioscience enterprise (2011) from the University of Cambridge in the UK. Vivian has been working with cell models in disease biology and environmental applications. With her training in bioscience enterprise, Vivian is also experienced in commercialising biotechnology. This is evidenced by several award-winning projects with her teammates during her time in Cambridg, UK (2010-2013) and in Switzerland (2013-2017). In her work at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Vivian has been involved in the Nano-Tera project Envirobot, to develop a fish cell-based biosensor for monitoring water status. Together with her teammates, the biosensor (Rainbow Biosystem) has been shown to effectively and economically monitor water conditions with unprecedented ease-of-use for customers. Vivian believes in transforming results from R&D into practical applications that benefit customers and the world for a good cause, has great passion and expertise in running a startup, and endeavours with her team to bring this product to the effluents and fresh waters around the globe.


Kristin has 23 years of experience in working with fish cell lines, and is an internationally recognised expert in fish cell line development, characterization and use in water monitoring. Kristin received her PhD at the University of Waterloo in Canada already working on fish cell lines. She now leads the Department of Environmental Toxicology at Eawag, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, and teaches at the Swiss Technical Universities, EPFL ÐZ.


Frederic received his electrical engineering degree at the University of Applied Sciences (2004) in Sion, Switzerland, and Master’s degree in optical systems at the Hochschule Ravensburg-Weingarten, Germany (2009). Frederic has 12 years of experience working in various areas of engineering including bioreactors and biosensors that are based on different optical, physical or electrochemical mechanisms.


Martial has been working in the field of lens system, design and imaging for the last 25 years. He is currently the head of the instrumentation unit at the HES-SO Valais. He is teaching physics and has many mandates related to optics and system engineering requiring strong integration of various technical fields. Martial is part of the Nano-Tera project Envirobot, and our team in Sion in developing the engineering of the Rainbow BiosystemTM.


Vivian Lu Tan