An evaluation of the capability of a biolayer interferometry biosensor to detect low-molecular-weight food contaminants

Terry McGrath*, Katrina Campbell, Terry L Fodey, Richard O'Kennedy, Christopher T Elliott

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The safety of our food is an essential requirement of society. One well-recognised threat is that of chemical contamination of our food, where low-molecular-weight compounds such as biotoxins, drug residues and pesticides are present. Low-cost, rapid screening procedures are sought to discriminate the suspect samples from the population, thus selecting only these to be forwarded for confirmatory analysis. Many biosensor assays have been developed as screening tools in food contaminant analysis, but these tend to be electrochemical, fluorescence or surface plasmon resonance based. An alternative approach is the use of biolayer interferometry, which has become established in drug discovery and life science studies but is only now emerging as a potential tool in the analysis of food contaminants. A biolayer interferometry biosensor was assessed using domoic acid as a model compound. Instrument repeatability was tested by simultaneously producing six calibration curves showing replicate repeatability (n = 2) ranging from 0.1 to 6.5 % CV with individual concentration measurements (n = 12) ranging from 4.3 to 9.3 % CV, giving a calibration curve midpoint of 7.5 ng/ml (2.3 % CV (n = 6)). Reproducibility was assessed by producing three calibration curves on different days, giving a midpoint of 7.5 ng/ml (3.4 %CV (n = 3)). It was further shown, using assay development techniques, that the calibration curve midpoint could be adjusted from 10.4 to 1.9 ng/ml by varying assay parameters before the simultaneous construction of three calibration curves in matrix and buffer. Sensitivity of the assay compared favourably with previously published biosensor data for domoic acid. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2535-44
JournalAnalytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
Issue number8
Early online date22 Jan 2013
Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2013


  • Biolayer interferometry (BLI)
  • Concentration analysis
  • Domoic acid
  • Label-free optical biosensor
  • Low-molecular-weight food contaminants
  • Shellfish analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry


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