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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2017 Jun;45:164-169. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2017.02.018.

Biosensors for the monitoring of harmful algal blooms.

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School of Biotechnology, Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland.
Marine Institute, Rinville, Oranmore, Co. Galway, Ireland.
School of Biotechnology, Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland. Electronic address:


Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are a major global concern due to their propensity to cause environmental damage, healthcare issues and economic losses. In particular, the presence of toxic phytoplankton is a cause for concern. Current HAB monitoring programs often involve laborious laboratory-based analysis at a high cost and with long turnaround times. The latter also hampers the potential to develop accurate and reliable models that can predict HAB occurrence. However, a promising solution for this issue may be in the form of remotely deployed biosensors, which can rapidly and continuously measure algal and toxin levels at the point-of-need (PON), at a low cost. This review summarises the issues HABs present, how they are difficult to monitor and recently developed biosensors that may improve HAB-monitoring challenges.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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