Activities per year
Marine dinoflagellates of the genera Alexandrium are well known producers of the potent neurotoxic paralytic shellfish toxins that can enter the food web and ultimately present a serious risk to public health in addition to causing huge economic losses. Direct coastal monitoring of Alexandrium spp. can provide early warning of potential shellfish contamination and risks to consumers and so a rapid, sensitive, portable and easy-to-use assay has been developed for this purpose using an innovative planar waveguide device. The disposable planar waveguide is comprised of a transparent substrate onto which an array of toxin-protein conjugates is deposited, assembled in a cartridge allowing the introduction of sample, and detection reagents. The competitive assay format uses a high affinity antibody to paralytic shellfish toxins with a detection signal generated via a fluorescently labelled secondary antibody. The waveguide cartridge is analysed by a simple reader device and results are displayed on a laptop computer. Assay speed has been optimised to enable measurement within 15 min. A rapid, portable sample preparation technique was developed for Alexandrium spp. in seawater to ensure analysis was completed within a short period of time. The assay was validated and the LOD and CCß were determined as 12 pg/mL and 20 pg/mL respectively with an intra-assay CV of 11.3% at the CCß and an average recovery of 106%. The highly innovative assay was proven to accurately detect toxin presence in algae sampled from the US and European waters at an unprecedented cell density of 10 cells/L. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering
Meneely, J. P., Campbell, K., Greef, C., Lochhead, M. J., & Elliott, C. T. (2013). Development and validation of an ultrasensitive fluorescence planar waveguide biosensor for the detection of paralytic shellfish toxins in marine algae. Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 41(null), 691–697. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bios.2012.09.043