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Fluorescence Polarization Immunoassays for Metal Ions

[ Vol. 6 , Issue. 3 ]


David K. Johnson   Pages 245 - 255 ( 11 )


Antibodies raised against a given metal ion complex of a polyaminopolycarboxylate chelating agent can display specificity for the immunizing chelate and, when used in conjunction with a fluorophorelabeled analog of that chelate, can form the basis for highly sensitive and specific methods for detecting that metal ion by competitive inhibition fluorescence polarization immunoassay (FPIA). Chelate complexes of ethylenediamine-N,N,N,N- tetraacetic acid (EDTA) and of a hetrocyclic ring-substituted derivative of diethylenetriamine-N, N, N”-triacetic acid (DTTA) have been used to configure such assays for the heavy metal ions lead(II) and cadmium(II) respectively. Limits of detection for the 1:1 metal chelates under ideal conditions are 20 ppt for lead(II) and below 100 ppt for cadmium(II). Standard curves for 0 - 100 nM cadmium (II) chelate can be constructed in the presence of fixed 250 nM concentrations of the corresponding, potentially cross-reactive chelates of zinc(II), copper(II) and mercury(II). Cross-reactivity of the lead (II) FPIA with 15 non-target metals is below 0.2% in all cases except for mercury(II) (0.37%). These characteristics have allowed the development of FPIA methods for the quantitative analysis of lead in a variety of samples relevant to environmental monitoring, including soil, dust, solid wastes and drinking water. Although applied thus far to heavy metals that are of concern as toxic contaminants in the environment, anti-chelate FPIA methods are also in principle applicable to a wide variety of other metal ions, including precious metals and various transition and main group elements used or monitored in a range of industrial applications. As conventional methods for trace metal analysis based on atomic spectroscopy are relatively slow, expensive and cumbersome, anti-chelate FPIA methods have the potential to supplant many existing techniques and in so doing extend the use of immunoassay technology beyond the biomedical, veterinary and agricultural spheres in which it has historically found use.


Fluorescence Polarization, tetraacetic acid, cadmium, biomedical


BioMetalix, Inc., P. O. Box 601, Twin Lakes, WI 53181-601, USA

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