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Saxitoxin Analysis

Chemical Weapons Chemicals Analysis

  1. Mia Halme,
  2. Paula Vanninen

Published Online: 15 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9780470027318.a9320

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

How to Cite

Halme, M. and Vanninen, P. 2013. Saxitoxin Analysis. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2013


This article gives a review of the chemistry, mechanism of action, and analysis methods for screening and identification of saxitoxin (STX) in light of verification of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). STX is a potent, naturally occurring neurotoxin, and listed in the CWC. Isolation and sample preparation from mussels and algal samples are briefly described. Analysis methods for the determination of STX have been developed mainly for environmental monitoring, seafood regulation, or medical diagnostic purposes. Different biological, biochemical, and chemical techniques have been used widely all around the world for analysis of STX and its analogs. Over the last decade, liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) has become an important method in the field of the analysis of chemical warfare agents and it is also appropriate for unambiguous identification of STX and its analogs. For verification of the CWC, identification criteria for STX accepted by the Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (the OPCW) are also discussed briefly.