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The potential of Chitosan-Based composites for adsorption of diarrheic shellfish toxins

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Okadaic acid (OA) is one of the most potent marine biotoxins, causing diarrheal shellfish poisoning (DSP). The proliferation of microalgae that produce OA and its analogues is frequent, threatening human health and socioeconomic development. Several methods have been tested to remove this biotoxin from aquatic systems, yet none has proven enough efficacy to solve the problem. In this work, we synthesized and characterized low-cost composites and tested their efficacy for OA adsorption in saltwater. For the synthesis of the composites, the following starting materials were considered: chitosan of low and medium molecular weight (CH-LW and CH-MW, respectively), activated carbon (AC), and montmorillonite (MMT). Characterization by vibrational spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and microscopy revealed differences in the mode of interaction of CH-LW and CH-MW with AC and MMT, suggesting that the interaction of CH-MW with MMT has mainly occurred on the surface of the clay particles and no sufficient intercalation of CH-MW into the MMT interlayers took place. Among the composites tested (CH-LW/AC, CH-MW/AC, CH-MW/AC/MMT, and CH-MW/MMT), CH-MW/MMT was the one that revealed lower OA adsorption efficiency, given the findings evidenced by the structural characterization. On the contrary, the CH-MW/AC composite revealed the highest average percentage of OA adsorption (53 ± 11%). Although preliminary, the results obtained in this work open up good perspectives for the use of this type of composite material as an adsorbent in the removal of OA from marine environments.



Diarrheic shellfish poisoning Marine biotoxins Okadaic acid removal Composite materials as adsorbents Key Contrib


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