A Fluorescence Based Miniaturized Detection Module for Toxin Producing Algae

  • Silvia Zieger (Speaker)
  • Günter Mistlberger (Contributor)
  • Troi, L. (Contributor)
  • Alexander Lang (Contributor)
  • Holly, C. (Contributor)
  • Klimant, I. (Contributor)

Activity: Talk or presentationTalk at conference or symposiumScience to science


Algal blooms are sensitive to external environmental conditions and may pose a serious threat to marine and human life having an adverse effect on the ecosystem. Harmful algal blooms can produce different toxins, which can lead to massive fish kills or to human disorders. Facing these problems, miniaturized and low-cost instrumentation for an early detection and identification of harmful algae classes has become more important over the last years. 1,2Based on the characteristic pigment pattern of different algae classes, we developed a miniaturized detection module, which is able to detect and identify algae classes after analyzing their spectral behavior. Our device combines features of a flow-cytometer and fluorimeter and is build up as a miniaturized and low-cost device of modular design. Similar to a fluorimeter, it excites cells in the capillary with up to 8 different excitation wavelengths recording the emitted fluorescence at 4 different emission channels. Furthermore, the device operates in a flow-through mode similar to a flow-cytometer, however, using only low-cost elements such as LEDs and photodiodes. Due to its miniaturized design, the sensitivity and selectivity increase, whereas background effects are reduced. With a sampling frequency of 140 Hz, we try to detect and count particular cell events even at a concentration of 2 cells / 7.3 µL illuminated volume. Using a self-learning multivariate algorithm, the data are evaluated autonomously on the device enabling an in-situ analysis.The flexibility in choosing excitation and emission wavelengths as well as the high sampling rate enables laboratory applications such as measuring induction kinetics. However, in its first application, the device is part of an open and modular monitoring system enabling the sensing of chemical compounds such as toxic and essential Hg, Cd, Pb, As and Cu trace metal species, nutrients and species related to the carbon cycle, VOCs and potentially toxic algae classes (FP7 614002).1. Faber, S. Saxitoxin and the Induction of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning. J. Young Investig. 23,7 (2012).2. Bláha, L., Babica, P. & Maršálek, B. Toxins produced in cyanobacterial water blooms - toxicity and risks. Interdiscip. Toxicol. 2, (2009).
Period13 Dec 2016
Event title(Kopie von) AGU Fall Meeting
Event typeConference
LocationSan FranciscoShow on map

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy