Immunoassay for monitoring environmental and human exposure to the polybrominated diphenyl ether BDE-47

Ki Chang Ahn, Shirley J. Gee, Hsing Ju Tsai, Deborah H Bennett, Marcia G. Nishioka, Arlene Blum, Elana Fishman, Bruce D. Hammock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


We developed a selective competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to monitor environmental and human exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ether BDE-47 that is used as a flame retardant. 2,2′,4,4′- Tetrabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-47), a dominant PBDE congener of toxicological concern, was the target analyte. To achieve effective hapten presentation on the carrier protein for antibody production, immunizing haptens with a rigid double-bonded hydrocarbon linker introduced at different positions on the target molecule were synthesized as well as coating haptens that mimic a characteristic fragment of the molecule. Rabbit antisera produced against each immunizing antigen were screened against competitive hapten coating antigens. Underoptimized competitive indirect ELISA conditions, the linear detection range in the assay buffer that includes 50% dimethyl sulfoxide was 0.35-8.50 μg/L with an IC50 value of 1.75 μg/L for BDE-47. Little or no crossreactivity (<6%) was observed to related PBDE congeners containing the BDE-47 moiety and other halogenated compounds. Using a magnetic particle-based competitive direct ELISA increased the sensitivity by 10-fold over the indirect ELISA. The ELISA provided quantitative results when performed on small volume/weight samples such as dust, furniture foam, and blood/ serum following sample preparation, suggesting a convenient screening tool.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7784-7790
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 15 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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