Forensic science international

Determination of cross-reactivity of poly- and monoclonal antibodies for synthetic cannabinoids by direct SPR and ELISA.

PMID 28942375


One of the main reasons for the rise in popularity of synthetic cannabinoids (SCs) is their ability to remain unrecognized in conventional drug screenings. Due to their structural diversity, caused by the constant introduction of new substances to circumvent legal regulation, antibodies with a wide range of cross-reactivity are necessary for the establishment of a reliable immunological based drug test. Therefore, high-quality binding data are needed to select promising antibody candidates for further development. In this study, we carried out a direct surface plasmon resonance (SPR) method and evaluated its suitability for the characterization of antibody-SC interactions. The cross-reactivity of 22 SCs with three polyclonal antibodies, raised against JWH-018 haptens with different attachment positions of the linker, and two commercial available monoclonal antibodies were determined. These results were compared with the commonly used competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). It could be demonstrated, that direct SPR and competitive ELISA show comparable specificity results for the majority of the measured compounds. However, the reduced manual labor, the real-time analysis and the high information content about the binding events of SPR compared to ELISA, showed that SPR is a valuable tool during the development of antibodies against synthetic cannabinoids, currently the largest group of new psychoactive substances.

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