Botulinum toxins are amongst the most toxic substances known. Contaminated animal feed can result in high levels of animal loss. The toxin is also regarded as a potential bioweapon because it is easily accessible and can be spread quickly (such as via the food production distribution network). A large number of botulinum toxin types are known, making quick, general detection more difficult. Existing tests can be very sensitive to one type, but do not detect the whole spectrum of botulinum toxins. The scenarios depicted also call for quicker on-site testing without a laboratory environment in place. In the BoNT-Disk, a centrifugal microfluidic LabDisk is developed with which all known botulinum toxins can be detected automatically. Mobile analyses can be performed with a corresponding centrifugal processing device. After a sample is introduced (such as food or environmental samples), all toxin detections are run fully automated and in parallel on one LabDisk.
Test in independent laboratories
Together with the project partners, the functionality of the BoNT-Disk was tested and confirmed in five independent laboratories in Great Britain, Germany and Switzerland. The summary of the test can be found in the CRACK IT Review 2019 on pages 56-59.