Immuno-Enriched Microspheres - Magnetic Blade Spray-Tandem Mass Spectrometry for Domoic Acid in Mussels

Ariadni Geballa-Koukoula*, Arjen Gerssen, Marco H. Blokland, Christopher T. Elliott, Janusz Pawliszyn, Michel W.F. Nielen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Paramagnetic microspheres can be used in planar array fluorescence immunoassays for single or multiplex screening of food contaminants. However, no confirmation of the molecular identity is obtained. Coated blade spray (CBS) is a direct ionization mass spectrometry (MS) technique, and when combined with triple quadrupole MS/MS, it allows for rapid confirmation of food contaminants. The lack of chromatography in CBS, though, compromises the specificity of the measurement for unequivocal identification of contaminants, based on the European Union (EU) regulation. Therefore, a rapid and easy-to-use immuno-magnetic blade spray (iMBS) method was developed in which immuno-enriched paramagnetic microspheres replace the coating of CBS. The iMBS-MS/MS method was fully optimized, validated in-house following the EU 2021/808 regulation, and benchmarked against a commercial lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) for on-site screening of DA. The applicability of iMBS-MS/MS was further demonstrated by analyzing incurred mussel samples. The combination of immunorecognition and MS/MS detection in iMBS-MS/MS enhances the measurement's selectivity, which is demonstrated by the rapid differentiation between the marine toxin domoic acid (DA) and its structural analog kainic acid (KA), which cannot be achieved with the LFIA alone. Interestingly, this first-ever reported iMBS-MS/MS method is generic and can be adapted to include any other immuno-captured food contaminant, provided that monoclonal antibodies are available, thus offering a complementary confirmatory analysis approach to multiplex immunoassay screening methods. Moreover, thanks to its speed of analysis, iMBS-MS/MS can bridge the logistics gap between future large-scale on-site testings using LFIAs and classical time-consuming confirmatory MS analysis performed in official control laboratories.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15736–15743
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number47
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2021


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