Rapid Simple Analysis of Harmful Algae Bloom Toxins Via Waveguide Enabled ELISA

Advances in Sensor Technologies in Environmental Monitoring
Oral Presentation

Prepared by D. Kroll, J. Harbridge
Hach, Hach, 5600 Lindbergh Drive, Loveland, Colorado, 80539, United States

Contact Information: [email protected]; 970-443-2436


The analysis of natural water bodies for the toxins produced by harmful algae blooms (HAB) can be problematic. Existing methods rely on complex laboratory methods such as LC/MS. ELISA based test strips are semi-quantitative at best. A number of more accurate ELISA based laboratory tests have been developed, but they still have problems with repeatability due to variations in technique. What is needed is a simple to use, accurate and reliable test for HAB toxins that can be performed in the field or in the lab by personnel not normally tasked with performing complex analytical procedures. Such a method is described here. The method combines planar waveguide illumination, fluorescence imaging, and microarray technology to deliver multiplexed fluorescence immunoassay results. The core technology is based on a disposable cartridge that is a planar waveguide which is reliably and reproducibly read on a portable reader. The attributes of the planar waveguides fluid dynamics and form removes the inherent operator bias present in most ELISA methods and allows for consistent and accurate results as well as the ability to do multiplexing of an array of different toxins on a single chip. The new method is described and presented along with field and laboratory testing results.