An electrochemical enzyme immunoassay for chicken luteinizing hormone: extension of the detection limit by adequate control of the nonspecific adsorption. Academic Article uri icon


  • A noncompetitive heterogeneous enzyme immunoassay for the determination of chicken luteinizing hormone (LH) was equipped with an electrochemical endpoint in order to further enhance its sensitivity. The immunological principle of the original ELISA remained essentially unchanged, except for the fact that the peroxidase label was replaced by alkaline phosphatase, since in the upgraded version of the assay, p-aminophenyl phosphate was to be used as the substrate of alkaline phosphatase. Enzyme-generated p-aminophenol was injected into a flow-injection system and detected amperometrically in a thin-layer flow cell with a glassy carbon electrode at 0.325 V vs Ag/AgCl. A classical problem associated with this type of solid-phase immunoassay is the adsorption of proteins other than the capture antibody to the solid phase. The detection sensitivity is therefore often limited by a large background signal observed in the absence of antigen. In the present study, an experiment was designed to examine in each step of the assay the contribution of each of the potential sources of background current. It was shown that the major contribution to the background current was caused by the nonspecific adsorption of biotinylated secondary antibody. Adsorption of the secondary antibody (biotinylated goat anti-rabbit IgG) to the capture antibody (mouse anti-chicken LHbeta) was clearly a case of specific aspecificity, whereas adsorption to the solid phase itself had to be treated as a nonspecific aspecificity. Addition of 0.25% mouse serum to the secondary antibody as a source of mouse immunoglobulin could overcome the cross-reaction and markedly reduced adsorption to capture antibody. The second part of nonspecific adsorption was eliminated by using combinations of Tween 20 and bovine serum albumin as blocking agents. Controlling the adsorption of the biotinylated secondary antibody in this way decreased the detection limit from 39 pg/ml in the original assay to 2.5 pg/ml in the electrochemical version. This way, the plasma volume of samples containing on the order of 1 ng/ml LH was reduced to less than 10 microl. The linear range was 2.5-625 pg/ml. The method allowed us to measure LH in buffer and in adult and juvenile chicken plasma.

published proceedings

  • Anal Biochem

author list (cited authors)

  • Qu, Y., Berghman, L. R., & Vandesande, F.

citation count

  • 21

complete list of authors

  • Qu, Y||Berghman, LR||Vandesande, F

publication date

  • June 1998