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Detection of hepatitis B surface antigen using time-resolved fluoroimmunoassay

Naturevolume 301pages258260 (1983) | Download Citation



Conventional fluoroimmunoassay (FIA) methods based on various fluorescence principles have not achieved the sensitivity of radioimmunoassay (RIA) mainly because of problems of background fluorescence arising, for example, from the biological specimen. We now describe an immunoassay of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) based on time-resolved (TR) fluorescence1 using a lanthanide as label. The assay initiates the development of a new generation of immunoassays. The fluorescence intensity is measured after a selected delay time which almost completely eliminates background fluorescence, which has a fast decay time. The excitation is performed with a flashing light source. The molecules with a long fluorescent lifetime consist of chelates of rare earth metals (Eu, Tb, Sm, Dy). They absorb strongly the excitation radiation and transfer the energy to the chelated central atom which in turn produces an emission spectrum characteristic of the lanthanide used. A long Stokes' shift (>270 nm) helps to reduce the background in the emission region of the chelate and thus optimizes measurement of the relevant fluorescence. The present TR-FIA uses 2-naphthoyltrifluoroacetone as chelating agent because it creates an intense fluorescence with the rare earth metals. Synergistic agents such as trioctylphosphineoxid further enhance the fluorescence of the chelate. Depending on the instrumentation used for measuring time-resolved fluorescence and the conditions used for chelate formation, lanthanides can be detected at 10−12–10−14 M concentrations1,2.

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  1. Wallac Oy, PO Box 10, SF-20101, Turku, 10, Finland

    • H. Siitari
    • , I. Hemmilä
    • , E. Soini
    •  & T. Lövgren
  2. Finnish Red Cross Blood Transfusion Center, Kivihaantie 7, SF-00310, Helsinki, 31, Finland

    • V. Koistinen


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