Team:UChile Biotec/Safety


We worked at Sysmicrolab, a place that is equiped with all security and safety implements that we needed.

Lab Safety

We worked with Saxitoxin, a paralytic toxin produced by algae when there's red tide. We were advised by Benjamin Suarez, a worldwide expert in the matter of marine toxins. Benjamin himself provided us the toxin dissolved in concentrations and volumes that would kill a mouse if injected, but never a human. Even more, the concentration of saxitoxin needed to kill is higher by oral consumption than injection, so we were under no lethal risk. Furthermore, only two members of the team worked with the toxin by direct manipulation, always wearing gloves that were immediately thrown away when used.

Part Safety

Our parts does not require any safety observation since they are non-coding single DNA strands. They do NOT translate in any kind of toxin or toxin precursors.

Device Safety

Our device was not designed to be put in contact directly with the environment. It was specially designed to analyze a sample obtained by the user, extracting the presumably contaminated sample from the seafood and putting it inside of it. Even if our device were put in contact with the environment by accident, there's no risk of contamination, since does not contain any living organisms or parts.

Even more

We evaluated the only possible environmental risk related to our device is that the single-stranded DNA could enter in a competent bacteria, but if it were the case, we are sure it won't be a problem since it is a short single-stranded sequence (we won't use plasmids in our device) that has no translational value for a cell.


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