Biosensors to detect marine toxins: Assessing seafood safety

Mònica Campàs, Beatriz Prieto-Simón, Jean Louis Marty

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

90 Citations (Scopus)


This article describes the different types of marine toxins and their toxic effects, and reviews the bio/analytical techniques for their detection, putting special emphasis to biosensors. Important health concerns have recently appeared around shellfish (diarrheic, paralytic, amnesic, neurologic and azaspiracid) and fish (ciguatera and puffer) poisonings produced by different types of phycotoxins, making evident the urgent necessity of counting on appropriate detection technologies. With this purpose, several analysis methods (bioassays, chromatographic techniques, immunoassays and enzyme inhibition-based assays) have been developed. However, easy-to-use, fast and low-cost devices, able to deal with complicated matrices, are still required. Biosensors offer themselves as promising biotools, alternative and/or complementary to conventional analysis techniques, for fast, simple, cheap and reliable toxicity screening. Nevertheless, despite the wide range of seafood toxins and the already rooted biosensing systems, the literature on biosensors for phycotoxins is scarce. This article discusses the existing biosensor-based strategies and their advantages and limitations. Finally, the article gives a general overlook about the regulation toxin levels and monitoring programmes currently established around the world concerning seafood safety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)884-895
Number of pages12
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Biosensors
  • Marine toxins
  • Seafood
  • Shellfish poisoning
  • Toxicity

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