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Biosensors For Mycotoxin Analysis: Recent Developments And Future Prospects

C. Maragos

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The toxicity and prevalence of mycotoxins in commodities and foods has necessitated the development of rapid methods in order to ensure the protection of human food and animal feed supplies. Testing for mycotoxins can be accomplished by many techniques that range from determinative tests in which the presence of the toxin is confirmed, to presumptive tests in which the presence of the toxin is inferred from the presence of markers. This review focuses on tests that fall into a third category, namely indirect assays, where the presence of the toxin is established by it's interaction with an intermediary. Such intermediaries include biological materials that bind mycotoxins, such as antibodies, as well as synthetic materials such as polymers and man-made peptides. The diversity of assays within this category is extraordinary and includes assays based upon traditional microwell formats, microbeads, membranes, electrodes, wave-guides, and solution-phase assays. The microbead format includes platforms as diverse as flow injection immunoassays, tandem column immunoassays, and immunoaffinity columns. The membrane-based formats include flow-through as well as lateral-flow assays. The electrode-based formats incorporate miniaturised immunoassays with electrochemical endpoints. The wave-guide-based devices include formats such as surface plasmon resonance, and fluorescence array biosensors, and the solution phase formats include homogeneous assays such as fluorescence polarisation immunoassay. The breadth of technologies brought to bear upon solving the need for rapid, accurate, detection of mycotoxins is impressive and includes technologies currently available commercially and those which appear poised to enter the marketplace.