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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

TIRF-based biosensor for sensitive detection of progesterone in milk based on ultra-sensitive progesterone detection in water.

We report on recent advances of our immunoassay for the hormone progesterone in cow's milk. Detection is based on total internal reflectance fluorescence (TIRF), the binding-inhibition assay with an immobilized progesterone derivative, and a commercially available monoclonal antibody to progesterone as biological recognition element. The fully automated River Analyzer (RIANA) biosensor for unattended, cost-effective, and continuous monitoring of environmental pollution therefore was adapted for sensitive determination of progesterone in milk. First, the sensitivity and robustness of the existing progesterone assay for water analysis were improved, resulting in a detection limit (LOD) of only 0.2 pg mL(-1) and a quantification limit (LOQ) of only 2.0 pg mL(-1). These extraordinary results are the lowest detection and quantification limits for progesterone determination using biosensors yet reported in the literature. Second, the accurate indicator of ovulation was calibrated and detected in three different types of milk (UHT milk, fresh milk, and raw milk). For commercial milk and randomly procured raw milk nominal levels of progesterone are typically in the range 5-15 ng mL(-1). Limits of detection (LOD) achieved for added progesterone (i.e. spiked samples) were between 45.5 and 56.1 pg mL(-1) depending on milk type. Having in mind the 1:10 dilution factor, these results are still a success. For the first time a commercially available antibody was incorporated into an immunoassay for progesterone detection in bovine milk, giving a detection limit below 1 ng mL(-1) for a fully automated biosensor. Thus the outstanding progress made with this biosensor in environmental monitoring and water analysis has now been successfully adapted to milk analysis for use in the field of reproduction management.[1]


  1. TIRF-based biosensor for sensitive detection of progesterone in milk based on ultra-sensitive progesterone detection in water. Tschmelak, J., Käppel, N., Gauglitz, G. Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry. (2005) [Pubmed]
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