Detecting TTX in seafood with automated patch clamp

The presence of marine toxins in our oceans and seas is escalating, posing significant risks to public health. These toxins accumulate in seafood and can cause severe intoxications if consumed. Among these, tetrodotoxin (TTX) is particularly notorious. Found in pufferfish and certain shellfish, TTX is highly potent and responsible for numerous poisoning incidents globally.

Traditional methods for detecting TTX in food, such as the mouse bioassay, raise ethical concerns and lack specificity. More precise techniques like high-performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry require costly equipment and specialized training, which limit their widespread use. Consequently, there is a pressing need for more efficient approaches to detect TTX and ensure seafood safety.

A recent study introduces a promising approach using an automated patch clamp (APC) system to detect TTX. Since TTX works by inhibiting sodium channels, testing for its presence via patch clamp analysis appears to be a compelling method.

Researchers utilized the Neuro-2a neuroblastoma cell line, which has endogenous voltage-gated sodium channels, as a suitable cellular model for analyzing samples potentially containing TTX.

Using the Patchliner APC system, they analyzed the presence of TTX in extracts from different tissues of TTX-free Sphoeroides pachygaster and TTX-containing Lagocephalus sceleratus pufferfish.

The system successfully detected TTX in the Lagocephalus sceleratus tissue extracts, with high toxin concentrations particularly noted in the gonads and liver, followed by the skin and muscle.

These findings demonstrate the Patchliner’s high sensitivity and its ability to detect TTX at levels far below the safety thresholds set by regulatory bodies. Unlike traditional methods that can take days, the APC provides results quickly, which is essential for timely decision-making in food safety.

Overall, the findings from this study highlight the APC’s potential as a robust tool for the rapid, sensitive, and ethical detection of TTX in seafood. The APC not only improves the accuracy of TTX monitoring but also supports broader applications in food safety and toxicological research.

Find the original article here: https://www.mdpi.com/1660-3397/22/4/176

Discover more about the Patchliner, the most versatile automated patch clamp system on the market: https://www.nanion.de/products/patchliner/