Detection of TNT is an important environmental and security concern all over the world. We herein report the performance and comparison of four immunoassays for rapid and label-free detection of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) based on surface plasmon resonance (SPR). The immunosensor surface was constructed by immobilization of a home-made 2,4,6-trinitrophenyl-keyhole limpet hemocyanin (TNPh-KLH) conjugate onto an SPR gold surface by simple physical adsorption within 10 min. The immunoreaction of the TNPh-KLH conjugate with four different antibodies, namely, monoclonal anti-TNT antibody (M-TNT Ab), monoclonal anti-trinitrophenol antibody (M-TNP Ab), polyclonal anti-trinitrophenyl antibody (P-TNPh Ab), and polyclonal anti-TNP antibody (P-TNP Ab), was studied by SPR. The principle of indirect competitive immunoreaction was employed for quantification of TNT. Among the four antibodies, the P-TNPh Ab prepared by our group showed highest sensitivity with a detection limit of 0.002 ng/mL (2 ppt) TNT. The lowest detection limits observed with other commercial antibodies were 0.008 ng/mL (8 ppt), 0.25 ng/mL (250 ppt), and 40 ng/mL (ppb) for M-TNT Ab, P-TNP Ab, and M-TNP Ab, respectively, in the similar assay format. The concentration of the conjugate and the antibodies were optimized for use in the immunoassay. The response time for an immunoreaction was 36 s and a single immunocycle could be done within 2 min, including the sensor surface regeneration using pepsin solution. In addition to the quantification of TNT, all immunoassays were evaluated for robustness and cross-reactivity towards several TNT analogs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Analytical Chemistry