Novel one-step centrifugal sensor system for the detection of cyanobacterial toxin microcystin-LR
Fitzgerald, Jenny and Maguire, Ivan and Heery, Brendan and Murphy, Caroline and Nwankire, Charles and O'Kennedy, Richard and Regan, Fiona (2015) Novel one-step centrifugal sensor system for the detection of cyanobacterial toxin microcystin-LR. In: Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, 21-28 Feb 2015, Granada, Spain.
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Globally, the most prevalent cyanobacterial toxins, in blooms from fresh and brackish waters, are the cyclic
peptide toxins of the microcystin family. The need for on-site algal-toxin monitoring has become increasingly
urgent due to the amplified demand for fresh-water and for safe, ‘toxin-free’ shellfish and fish stocks. Along
with routine testing of shellfish stocks for biotoxins including microcystin, the EU also require routine
monitoring for the presence of the causative algal species.
Herein, we describe a novel, Lab-On-A-Disc (LOAD) platform which has been developed to assess microcystin
toxin levels in-situ. Using recombinant antibody technology, the LOAD platform combines
immunofluorescence with centrifugally driven microfluidic liquid handling to achieve a next-generation
disposable device for high throughput sampling. A low-complexity, ‘LED-Photodiode’ based optical sensing
system was tailor-made for the system, which allows the fluorescence signal of the microcystin-specific
reaction to be quantified. This system can rapidly and accurately detect the presence of microcystin in less
than 10 minutes with minimum user interaction and maximum reproducibility. This method provides a low
cost diagnostic alternative to the current laborious and costly methods used for toxin monitoring.
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