Development of a rapid low cost fluorescent biosensor for the detection of food contaminants

Terry F. McGrath*, Karl Andersson, Katrina Campbell, Terry L. Fodey, Christopher T. Elliott

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
423 Downloads (Pure)


A prototype fluorescent based biosensor has been developed for the antibody based detection of food related contaminants. Its performance was characterised and showed a typical antibody binding signal of 200-2000 mV, a short term noise of 9.1 mV, and baseline slope of -0.016 mV/s over 4 h. Bulk signal detection repeatability (n=23) and reproducibility (n=3) were less than 2.4%CV. The biosensor detection unit was evaluated using two food related model systems proving its ability to monitor both binding using commercial products and inhibition through the development of an assay. This assay development potential was evaluated by observing the biosensor's performance whilst appraising several labelled antibody and glass slide configurations. The molecular interaction between biotin and an anti-biotin antibody was shown to be inhibited by 41% due to the presence of biotin in a sample. A food toxin (domoic acid) calibration curve was produced, with %CVs ranging from 2.7 to 7.8%, and a midpoint of approximately 17 ng/ml with further optimisation possible. The ultimate aim of this study was to demonstrate the working principles of this innovative biosensor as a potential portable tool with the opportunity of interchangeable assays. The biosensor design is applicable for the requirements of routine food contaminant analysis, with respect to performance, functionality and cost. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-102
Number of pages7
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2013


  • Prototype fluorescence biosensor
  • Optical biosensor
  • Low cost
  • Domoic acid
  • Food contaminants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrochemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Development of a rapid low cost fluorescent biosensor for the detection of food contaminants'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this