Multiplex biotoxin surface plasmon resonance method for marine biotoxins in algal and seawater samples

S.E. McNamee, C.T. Elliott, P. Delahaut, K. Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)


A multiplex surface plasmon resonance (SPR) biosensor method for the detection of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins, okadaic acid (and analogues) and domoic acid was developed. This method was compared to enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) methods. Seawater samples (n = 256) from around Europe were collected by the consortia of an EU project MIcroarrays for the Detection of Toxic Algae (MIDTAL) and evaluated using each method. A simple sample preparation procedure was developed which involved lysing and releasing the toxins from the algal cells with glass beads followed by centrifugation and filtering the extract before testing for marine biotoxins by both multi-SPR and ELISA. Method detection limits based on IC20 values for PSP, okadaic acid and domoic acid toxins were 0.82, 0.36 and 1.66 ng/ml, respectively, for the prototype multiplex SPR biosensor. Evaluation by SPR for seawater samples has shown that 47, 59 and 61 % of total seawater samples tested positive (result greater than the IC20) for PSP, okadaic acid (and analogues) and domoic acid toxins, respectively. Toxic samples were received mainly from Spain and Ireland. This work has demonstrated the potential of multiplex analysis for marine biotoxins in algal and seawater samples with results available for 24 samples within a 7 h period for three groups of key marine biotoxins. Multiplex immunological methods could therefore be used as early warning monitoring tools for a variety of marine biotoxins in seawater samples.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6794-6807
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Early online date19 Dec 2012
Publication statusPublished online - 19 Dec 2012


  • Biosensor
  • Surface plasmon resonance (SPR)
  • Biotoxins
  • Multiplexing
  • Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins
  • Okadaic acid
  • Domoic acid
  • Harmful algal bloom (HAB)


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