Aptamer-based competitive electrochemical biosensor for brevetoxin-2

Shimaa Eissa, Mohamed Siaj, Mohammed Zourob

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations


Brevetoxins (BTXs) are very potent marine neurotoxins that increased in geographical distribution in the past decade causing the illness clinically described as neurological shellfish poisoning (NSP). The ethical problems as well as the technical difficulties associated with the currently employed analysis methods for marine toxins are encouraging the research for suitable alternatives to be applied in a regulatory monitoring regime. Here, we report an electrochemical biosensor platform for BTX-2 detection utilising aptamer as specific receptor. Using in vitro selection, high affinity DNA aptamers to BTX-2 were successfully selected for the first time from a large pool of random sequences. The binding of BTX-2 to aptamer pools/clones was monitored using fluorescence and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The aptamer BT10 exhibited the highest binding affinity to BTX-2, with a dissociation constant of 42. nM. The effects of the incubation time, pH and metal ions concentrations on the aptamer-toxin binding were studied. The aptamer BT10 was used to construct a label-free competitive impedimetric biosensor for BTX-2 achieving a detection limit of 106. pg/ml. We observed a high degree of cross reactivity of the selected aptamer to the two similar congeners, BTX-2 and -3, whereas no cross reactivity to other marine toxins was obtained. Moreover, the aptasensor was applied for the detection of BTX-2 in spiked shellfish extract showing a very high recovery percentage. We believe that the proposed aptasensor will facilitate the routine detection of BTX-2 in food samples.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)148-154
Number of pages7
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
StatePublished - 5 Jul 2015


  • Aptasensor
  • DNA aptamer
  • Electrochemical Impedance spectroscopy
  • In vitro selection


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