Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 394, Issue 3, pp 863–869 | Cite as

A semi-quantitative dipstick assay for microcystin

  • Nils Tippkötter
  • Henning Stückmann
  • Stephen Kroll
  • Gunda Winkelmann
  • Udo Noack
  • Thomas Scheper
  • Roland UlberEmail author
Original Paper


An immunochromatographic lateral flow dipstick assay for the fast detection of microcystin-LR was developed. Colloid gold particles with diameters of 40 nm were used as red-colored antibody labels for the visual detection of the antigen. The new dipstick sensor is capable of detecting down to 5 µg·l−1 (ppb; total inversion of the color signal) or 1 ppb (observation of color grading) of microcystin-LR. The course of the labeling reaction was observed via spectrometric wave shifts caused by the change of particle size during the binding of antibodies. Different stabilizing reagents showed that especially bovine serum albumin (BSA) and casein increase the assays sensitivity and the conjugate stability. Performance of the dipsticks was quantified by pattern processing of capture zone CCD images. Storage stability of dipsticks and conjugate suspensions over 115 days under different conditions were monitored. The ready-to-use dipsticks were successfully tested with microcystin-LR-spiked samples of outdoor drinking- and salt water and applied to the tissue of microcystin-fed mussels.


Dipstick Immunochromatographic Toxin Microcystin Gold nanoparticles Lateral flow 



This research project was supported by the "Otto von Guericke" e.V. AiF (Association of Industrial Research Organisations; AiF-No. KF0479001KMD3).

We thank Sartorius AG for providing material and equipment for the preparation of the dipsticks.

Supplementary material

216_2009_2750_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (218 kb)
Supplementary Material Figs. S1–S4(PDF 217 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nils Tippkötter
    • 1
  • Henning Stückmann
    • 2
  • Stephen Kroll
    • 2
  • Gunda Winkelmann
    • 3
  • Udo Noack
    • 3
  • Thomas Scheper
    • 2
  • Roland Ulber
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Bioprocess Engineering, Department of Mechanical & Process EngineeringUniversity of KaiserslauternKaiserslauternGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Technical ChemistryUniversity of HanoverHanoverGermany
  3. 3.Dr. U. Noack-Laboratorien31157SarstedtGermany

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