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A Bioanalytical Platform for Simultaneous Detection and Quantification of Biological Toxins

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Author(s): Oliver G. Weingart | Hui Gao | François Crevoisier | Friedrich Heitger | Marc-André Avondet | Hans Sigrist

Journal: Sensors
ISSN 1424-8220

Volume: 12;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 2324;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: biosensor | microfluidics | toxins | bioanalytics | platform

ABSTRACT
Prevalent incidents support the notion that toxins, produced by bacteria, fungi, plants or animals are increasingly responsible for food poisoning or intoxication. Owing to their high toxicity some toxins are also regarded as potential biological warfare agents. Accordingly, control, detection and neutralization of toxic substances are a considerable economic burden to food safety, health care and military biodefense. The present contribution describes a new versatile instrument and related procedures for array-based simultaneous detection of bacterial and plant toxins using a bioanalytical platform which combines the specificity of covalently immobilized capture probes with a dedicated instrumentation and immuno-based microarray analytics. The bioanalytical platform consists of a microstructured polymer slide serving both as support of printed arrays and as incubation chamber. The platform further includes an easy-to-operate instrument for simultaneous slide processing at selectable assay temperature. Cy5 coupled streptavidin is used as unifying fluorescent tracer. Fluorescence image analysis and signal quantitation allow determination of the toxin’s identity and concentration. The system’s performance has been investigated by immunological detection of Botulinum Neurotoxin type A (BoNT/A), Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB), and the plant toxin ricin. Toxins were detectable at levels as low as 0.5–1 ng·mL−1 in buffer or in raw milk.
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