Development of Field-Portable Chromatographic Immunoassays

EPA Grant Number: R826253
Title: Development of Field-Portable Chromatographic Immunoassays
Investigators: Hage, David S.
Institution: University of Nebraska at Lincoln
EPA Project Officer: Lasat, Mitch
Project Period: January 1, 1998 through December 31, 2000
Project Amount: $277,762
RFA: Exploratory Research - Environmental Chemistry (1997) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Water , Land and Waste Management , Air , Engineering and Environmental Chemistry


Immunoassay methods are receiving a great deal of attention for environmental testing due to their selectivity, low cost and ease of use. However, most current immunoassays for pesticides and pollutants are based on manual methods that have only moderate precision and difficulties in differentiating between the analyte of interest and related compounds. Recent studies suggest that these problems can be overcome by using high-performance immunoaffinity chromatography (HPIAC) coupled with reversed-phase liquid chromatography (RPLC). This work will explore the development of field-portable systems that use this approach. The overall goal of this work is to design portable and multi-analyte HPIAC/RPLC systems that can be used in field testing for environmental analysis. The specific objectives will be 1) design and evaluation of a field-portable system for the HPIAC/RPLC analysis of atrazine and related triazine compounds, 2) modification of the field-portable system for the simultaneous detection of atrazine and 2,4-D (or alachlor) by mixed-bed HPIAC columns, and 3) development and evaluation of a multiple HPIAC column method for the simultaneous analysis of atrazine, alachlor and 2,4-D by the field-portable system.


In developing a field-portable model, a current benchtop system will first be redesigned by reducing its overall size and weight through the use of smaller components; a portable power supply, and means for temperature control plus reduced solvent consumption will also be added to the system. After conducting preliminary tests within the lab, this apparatus will be evaluated in the field by looking at its accuracy, precision, speed and stability during routine field operation and sample collection. Similar studies will later be performed with modified versions that contain a mixed-bed HPIAC column for multiple analyte detection or a series of HPIAC columns, each specific for a different class of solutes.

Expected Results:

This work should result in a new group of portable analytical systems that can be used for the fast and selective quantitation of environmental agents in a field setting. Some advantages envisioned for such systems during field testing would include their ability to eliminate the need to transport and store large volume samples, to study unstable analytes or short-term variations in analyte concentration, and to provide quantitative on-site data that could be used for the selection of sampling regions. The adaptation of such methods for multi-analyte detection formats will also be valuable in helping increase the flexibility of such systems, expanding the range of compounds that can be measured by them, and increasing the amount of information they provide per sample. Such techniques should prove to be useful tools in research or routine field measurements involving the study of these agents in the environment and in the evaluation of human or animal exposure to such compounds.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 15 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 2 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

liquid chromatography, immunoassay, triazines, 2,4-D, alachlor, field-portable analytical methods, Air, Toxics, Contaminant Candidate List, pesticides, Engineering, Chemistry, & Physics, liquid chromatography, field portable systems, solutes, triazine compounds, triazine, Alachlor ESA, human exposure, Triazines, alachlor, atrazine, chromatographic immunoassays, multi-analyte systems

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1998 Progress Report
  • 1999
  • Final Report