The development of an amperometric immunosensor for the detection of human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) is described. In this immunosensor, Nafion was used to immobilize an anti-hCG monoclonal antibody onto a glassy carbon electrode. A systematic study on the effects of experimental parameters such as the quantity of ethanol present in the Nafion solution, the percentage composition of Nafion, the pH of the immobilization buffer, and the concentration of antibody used for entrapment experiments on the binding between the immobilized antibody and 125I-labeled hCG has been carried out. Two immobilization methods, coimmobilization and adsorption immobilization, have then been attempted. A binding of approximately 3% was obtained in the former method, while 5.5% binding was achieved in the latter. On the basis of these results, adsorption immobilization was employed to entrap antibody on the electrode surface. A sandwich assay was then developed for hCG in which the enzyme horseradish peroxidase was conjugated to a second anti-hCG monoclonal antibody. The activity of the enzyme was determined electrochemically by the reduction of benzoquinone to hydroquinone. Binding of hCG to immobilized antibody determines the quantity of enzyme-conjugated antibody at the electrode surface, permitting the quantification of hCG. By a standard additions calibration method of hCG performed in blank human serum samples, the immunosensor exhibits a limit of linearity at 200 mIU mL-1 and a detection limit of 11.2 mIU mL-1 (based on twice the standard deviation of the blank solution).
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