Development of a new format of competitive immunochromatographic assay using secondary antibody-europium nanoparticle conjugates for ultrasensitive and quantitative determination of ochratoxin A
In this study, to enhance the sensitivity of conventional immunochromatographic assay (ICA) two strategies including using a high sensitive label and changing the assay format, were simultaneously applied to develop an ultrasensitive format of ICA. In new format, primary monoclonal antibody against ochratoxin A (OTA) was used without any labeling, and a secondary polycolonal antibody was labeled with europium fluorescent nanoparticles (EuNPs). Detection was performed in a single step by inserting the test strip into a microtube containing all reagents. The results were obtained within 12 min and read by a portable fluorescent strip reader. Salient features of the new format of ICA compared with conventional format include: (1) A 100-fold decrease in limit of detection (LOD) due to application of two amplification strategy; (2) Reduction in expensive monoclonal antibody consumption. The established method was evaluated for the quantitative determination of OTA with LOD as low as 0.4 pg mL−1.