Immunochemical determination of dioxins in sediment and serum samples

Mikaela Nichkova, Eun Kee Park, Marja E. Koivunen, Shizuo G. Kamita, Shirley J. Gee, Jane Chuang, Jeanette M Van Emon, Bruce D. Hammock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) are considered highly toxic contaminants and the environmental and biological monitoring of these compounds is of great concern. Immunoassays may be used as screening methods to satisfy the growing demand for rapid and low cost analysis. In this work, we describe the application of an immunoassay that uses 2,3,7-trichloro-8-methyldibenzo-p-dioxin (TMDD) as a surrogate standard for 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) to sediment and human serum samples. Sample extraction and preparation methods were developed with the aim to establish the simplest, cost-effective and efficient removal of the matrix interferences in the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The overall method for sediments is based on a hexane extraction; clean up by a multilayered silica gel column and an activated carbon column; an organic solvent exchange with DMSO-Triton X-100 and ELISA measurement. The gas chromatography-high resolution mass spectrometry (GC-HRMS) validation studies (n = 13) revealed that the method is suitable for the toxic equivalents (TEQ) screening of dioxin in sediments with a method detection limit of about 100 pg g-1 dry sediment with a precision of 13-33% R.S.D. The analysis of a large number of samples originating from different sources would be required to establish more precisely the screening level, as well as the number of false positives and negatives of dioxin TEQ by the immunoassay for sediments. The immunoassay method for sediment analysis offers improvement in speed, sample throughput, and cost in comparison to GC-HRMS. Dioxins were determined in serum samples after a simple liquid-liquid extraction and solvent exchange into DMSO-Triton X-100 without further dilution. The current method (approximate method LOQ of 200 pg ml-1 serum) is not sufficiently sensitive for the determination of dioxins in serum to measure acceptable exposure limit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1213-1223
Number of pages11
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 8 2004


  • Dioxin
  • Immunoassay
  • Microwave extraction
  • Sediment
  • Serum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy


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