help teen with project

Graham Shepherd muhero at
Wed Feb 23 18:57:10 EST 2000

sean <hockeyst at> wrote in message
news:hockeyst-2202001250260001 at
> ******Could you Please Email me directly as I do not always have access to
> newsgroups***
> I am a 17 year old senior science student at Saginaw Arts and Sciences
> Acadamy in Saginaw ,MI. I am working on a research/science fair project
> and by objective this year is the detection of valium like drugs
> (benzodiazepines) in aqueous solutions. I am trying to design a test strip
> that will have a color change in the presence of the drug. I have found
> both mono and poly clonal antibodies for benzodiazepine that can be used
> with BSA as a color indicator.  Seeing that the drug is not a protein I am
> wondering if the antibodies will stick to the drug it self or would
> actually stick to its metabolites after it is screted out the human body.
> The solution will not enter the human body prior to testing. I want to
> know if this type of immunoassay would work for me. Or if any one has a
> better idea of detecting this drug in solution I would greatly appreciate
> any feedback.
> Thank you in advance
> Sean A Tabacsko
> hockeyst at

The antibody will bind primarily the material used to immunise the donor
animal. I think you're thinking about the way this has to be done to produce
an antibody response. Most drugs are too small to by immunogenic by
themselves. If you link them to a protein carrier and use that to immunise,
what you get is a whole range of antibodies to the various antigens on the
protein. One of those antigens is the drug. Once the antibody has been
produced, it is able to bind the drug whatever size the drug is.  There is a
related issue. Metabolites of drugs may still be recognised by the antibody,
depending on exactly what change has occurred t the drug. If you need to
discriminate between the native drug and its metabolites, you may need to
use antibodies raised against the metabolite as well, and this approach
isn't guaranteed to work. It could do - I have seen a case of penicillin
allergy where the antibodies were so specific that they combined with one
form of penicillin but not the other (Pen V and Pen G; if I remember
correctly the difference is that one oxygen atom is on different carbon
atoms in the two forms.)


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