Atalanta: The autonomous analytical algal toxin platform
Maguire, Ivan and Fitzgerald, Jenny and Heery, Brendan and Murphy, Caroline and Nwankire, Charles and O'Kennedy, Richard and Ducrée, Jens and Regan, Fiona (2015) Atalanta: The autonomous analytical algal toxin platform. In: EuroAnalysis, 6 - 10 Sep 2015, Bordeaux, France.
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Cyclic peptide cyanobacterial toxins, in particular Microcystis aeruginosa, pose a serious health risk to humans and animals alike , . Occurring mostly in fresh and brackish water, they have been identified to cause cancer promotion and liver damage . Herein, we describe a portable, microfluidic-based system for in-situ detection of algal toxins in fresh water.
The Atalanta system is a novel, portable and sample-to-answer platform for the detection of toxic cyanobacteria – Microcystin-LR in fresh water. Atalanta utilises the partnership of highly-specific recombinant chicken anti-microcystin antibodies, prepared in-house, with a 3D-printed ‘LASER-photo¬diode’ fluorescent detection method, also developed in-house. A competitive immunoassay format is utilised to detect free toxin. Furthermore, dissolvable-film (DF) based flow-actuation facilitates full assay inte¬gration. This new approach will form the basis of a cost efficient, USB-controlled water quality monitoring system.
The Atalanta detection system consists of two components; the microfluidic Atalanta disc and the disc-holder. The Atalanta disc-holder was fabricated and assembled from a 3D-printed casing, with electronic components housed in device. The 5-layered microfluidic disc consists of five reservoirs, each with a separate venti¬lation, aligned radially with inter-connected microchannels. Each reservoir represents a functional assay step. First, microcystin conjugate is coated to the functionalised surface of the reservoir 3 prior to assembling the disc. A freshwater sample in reservoir 1 is pre-incubated with recombinant antibodies labelled with fluorophore (Alexa 647) in reservoir 2. This is then spun into reservoir 3 for detection through a competitive immunoassay using Microcystin-LR. Low fluorescence signal indicates high Microcystin-LR concentration in the sample.
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