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A rapid magnetic bead-based immunoassay for sensitive determination of diclofenac

Ecke, Alexander; Westphalen, Tanja; Hornung, Jane; Voetz, Michael; Schneider, Rudolf J.

Increasing contamination of environmental waters with pharmaceuticals represents an emerging threat for the drinking water quality and safety. In this regard, fast and reliable analytical methods are required to allow quick countermeasures in case of contamination. Here, we report the development of a magnetic bead-based immunoassay (MBBA) for the fast and cost-effective determination of the analgesic diclofenac (DCF) in water samples, based on diclofenac-coupled magnetic beads and a robust monoclonal anti-DCF antibody. A novel synthetic strategy for preparation of the beads resulted in an assay that enabled for the determination of diclofenac with a significantly lower limit of detection (400 ng/L) than the respective enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). With shorter incubation times and only one manual washing step required, the assay demands for remarkably shorter time to result (< 45 min) and less equipment than ELISA. Evaluation of assay precision and accuracy with a series of spiked water samples yielded results with low to moderate intra- and inter-assay variations and in good agreement with LC–MS/MS reference analysis. The assay principle can be transferred to other, e.g., microfluidic, formats, as well as applied to other analytes and may replace ELISA as the standard immunochemical method. Graphical abstract
Published in: Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 10.1007/s00216-021-03778-7, Springer Nature