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Interfacial Structure of Immobilized Antibodies and Perdeuterated HSA in Model Pregnancy Tests Measured with Neutron Reflectivity

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journal contribution
posted on 17.12.2015, 02:19 authored by Benjamin J. Cowsill, Xiubo Zhao, Thomas A. Waigh, Saji Eapen, Robert Davies, Valerie Laux, Michael Haertlein, V. Trevor Forsyth, Jian R. Lu
Experimental studies of antibody adsorption and antigen binding that mimicked pregnancy test immunoassays have been performed using neutron reflectivity studies of a model antibody/antigen system immobilized on the silica/water interface. The study revealed the nature of the antibody/antigen interaction and also the importance of a blocking protein, in this case human serum albumin (HSA), that enhances the immunoassay’s specificity and efficiency. Of central importance to this study has been the use of a perdeuterated human serum albumin (d-HSA), providing contrast that highlights the orientation and position of the blocking agent within the adsorbed layer. It was found that the adsorbed HSA filled the gaps between the preadsorbed antibodies on the substrate, with decreased adsorption occurring as a function of increased antibody surface coverage. In addition, the antigen binding capacity of the adsorbed antibodies was investigated as a function of antibody surface coverage. The amount of specifically bound antigen was found to saturate at approximately 0.17 mg/m2 and became independent of the antibody surface coverage. The ratio of bound antigen to immobilized antibody decreased with increased antibody surface coverage. These results are of importance for a full understanding of immunoassay systems that are widely used in clinical tests and in the detection of environmental contaminants.