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J Immunol Methods. 2004 Nov;294(1-2):111-22.

Immunoassay of total prostate-specific antigen using europium(III) nanoparticle labels and streptavidin-biotin technology.

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Department of Biotechnology, University of Turku, Tykistökatu 6, FIN-20520 Turku, Finland.


Nanoparticle labels conjugated with biomolecules are used in a variety of different assay applications. We investigated the possibility of using europium(III)-labeled 68-nm nanoparticles coated with monoclonal antibodies or streptavidin (SA) to detect prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in serum. The selection of a suitable antibody pair and interference caused by the combination of nanoparticle label and structurally complex analyte were of special interest. A set of antibodies recognizing different epitope areas of PSA was mapped to find the optimal antibody pair for the immunometric nanoparticle-based assay. Different assay configurations were tested to obtain a good correlation with a conventional method based on biotinylated detection antibodies and europium(III) chelate-labeled streptavidin. Monoclonal capture antibody 5E4 was covalently coated on a microtitration well surface; biotinylated 5H6 monoclonal antibody (Mab) was used for detection, and europium(III)-labeled streptavidin-coated nanoparticles were utilized for signal generation. Total PSA concentrations were determined from a panel of male serum samples to test the developed assay. The correlation of the nanoparticle-based and reference assays was good; y=0.9844x-0.1252, R2=0.98, n=27; and the lowest limit of detection of the assay (LLD=0.83 ng/l) was 35-fold lower than for the reference method. The assay application presented here, where a structurally complex analyte is detected, combines the exceptionally high affinity of streptavidin-biotin technology and the high specific activity of long lifetime fluorescence nanoparticle labels. The general characteristics of this combination should permit the development of various immunoassay applications featuring high sensitivity, rapidity, and low consumption of reagents.

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