Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxin binders for optical biosensor technology: problems and possibilities for the future: a review

Katrina Campbell, D.F.K. Rawn, B. Niedzwiadek, Christopher Elliott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)


This review examines the developments in optical biosensor technology, which uses the phenomenon of surface plasmon resonance, for the detection of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins. Optical biosensor technology measures the competitive biomolecular interaction of a specific biological recognition element or binder with a target toxin immobilised onto a sensor chip surface against toxin in a sample. Different binders such as receptors and antibodies previously employed in functional and immunological assays have been assessed. Highlighted are the difficulties in detecting this range of low molecular weight toxins, with analogues differing at four chemical substitution sites, using a single binder. The complications that arise with the toxicity factors of each toxin relative to the parent compound, saxitoxin, for the measurement of total toxicity relative to the mouse bioassay are also considered. For antibodies, the cross-reactivity profile does not always correlate to toxic potency, but rather to the toxin structure to which it was produced. Restrictions and availability of the toxins makes alternative chemical strategies for the synthesis of protein conjugate derivatives for antibody production a difficult task. However, when two antibodies with different cross-reactivity profiles are employed, with a toxin chip surface generic to both antibodies, it was demonstrated that the cross-reactivity profile of each could be combined into a single-assay format. Difficulties with receptors for optical biosensor analysis of low molecular weight compounds are discussed, as are the potential of alternative non-antibody-based binders for future assay development in this area.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)711-725
Number of pages15
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Toxicology
  • Chemistry(all)

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