Ultrasensitive detection in optically dense physiological media: Applications to fast reliable biological assays

Evgenia G. Matveeva*, Ignacy Gryczynski, Klaus W. Berndt, Joseph R. Lakowicz, Ewa Goldys, Zygmunt Gryczynski

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    We present a novel approach for performing fluorescence immunoassay in serum and whole blood using fluorescently labeled anti-rabbit IgG. This approach, which is based on Surface Plasmon-Coupled Emission (SPCE), provides increased sensitivity and substantial background reduction due to exclusive selection of the signal from the fluorophores located near a bio-affinity surface. Effective coupling range for SPCE is only couple of hundred nanometers from the metallic surface. Excited fluorophores outside the coupling layer do not contribute to SPCE, and their free-space emission is not transmitted through the opaque metallic film into the glass substrate. An antigen (rabbit IgG) was adsorbed to a slide covered with a thin silver metal layer, and the SPCE signal from the fluorophore-labeled anti-rabbit antibody, binding to the immobilized antigen, was detected. The effect of the sample matrix (buffer, human serum, or human whole blood) on the end-point immunoassay SPCE signal is discussed. The kinetics of binding could be monitored directly in whole blood or serum. The results showed that human serum and human whole blood attenuate the SPCE end-point signal and the immunoassay kinetic signal only approximately 2- and 3-fold, respectively (compared to buffer), resulting in signals that are easily detectable even in whole blood. The high optical absorption of the hemoglobin can be tolerated because only fluorophores within a couple of hundred nanometers from the metallic.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number60920K
    Pages (from-to)60920K-1-60920K-9
    Number of pages9
    JournalProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


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