You are here:
IMMUNOCHEMICAL APPLICATIONS IN ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE
Van Emon, J M. IMMUNOCHEMICAL APPLICATIONS IN ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE. JOURNAL OF AOAC INTERNATIONAL 84(1):125-133, (2001).
More cost-effective field screening and monitoring methods will be provided to increase the amount of information available concerning the location, source, and concentration of pollutants. Rapid and sensitive immunoassays such as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) to monitor remediation and cleanup activities at Superfund sites will be developed. Each new method will be tested on real-world samples from monitoring studies. Field studies will be conducted when time and resources permit. The feasibility and application of immunosensors to provide field analytical methods for the dynamic monitoring of hazardous substances of interest to the EPA will also be investigated. Concern has been expressed for the potential exposure of individuals to toxic compounds who live near hazardous waste sites or who may become exposed through other means. Thus, the development of methods for measuring biomarkers for human exposure assessment studies is also addressed.
During the remainder of the Task several projects will be undertaken including:
- Complete the development and evaluation of bioanalytical methods for dioxin and related compounds
- Perform dioxin immunoassay analysis on samples from a dioxin SITE demonstration
- Comparison of an ELISA with gas chromatography (GC) for monitoring polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in soils/sediments collected from a Superfund field demonstration
- Survey of bioanalytical methods and sensor technologies for environmental monitoring
- Development of immunoaffinity chromatography sample preparations for PCBs
- Preparation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for each bioanalytical method developed
- Conduct yearly research meeting
- Conduct survey of high priority chemicals at National Priorities List (NPL) sites for bioanalysis suitability
- Develop new bioanalytical methods for hazardous compounds of public concern
- Perform PCP immunoassay analysis on soil and sediment samples from a Superfund site and compare with GC data
- Preparation of fact sheets and journal articles
Immunochemical methods are based on selective antibodies combining with a particular target analyte or analyte group. The specific binding between antibody and analyte can be used to detect environmental contaminants in a variety of sample matrixes. Immunoassay methods provide cost-effective, sensitive, and selective analyses for many compounds of environmental and human health concern. Immunoaffinity chromatography methods have been integrated with chromatographic methods and are also being used as efficient sample preparations prior to immunochemical or instrumental detection. Immunosensors show promise in obtaining rapid online analyses. These and other advancements in immunochemical methods continue the expansion of their role from field screening methods to highly quantitative procedures that can be easily integrated into the environmental analytical laboratory.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), through its Office of Research and Development (ORD), funded and collaborated in the research described here. It has been subjected to the Agency's peer review and has been approved as an EPA publication. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the EPA for use.