Daems et al. (2017) Analytica Chimica Acta 950, 1e6
Analytical methods that are often used for the quantification of progesterone in bovine milk include immunoassays and chromatographic techniques. Depending on the selected method, the main disadvantages are the cost, time-to-result, labor intensity and usability as an automated at-line device. This paper reports for the first time on a robust and practical method to quantify small molecules, such as progesterone, in complex biological samples using an automated fiber optic surface plasmon resonance (FO-SPR) biosensor. A FO-SPR competitive inhibition assay was developed to determine biologically relevant concentrations of progesterone in bovine milk (1–10 ng/mL), after optimizing the immobilization of progesterone-bovine serum albumin (P4-BSA) conjugate, the specific detection with anti-progesterone antibody and the signal amplification with goat anti-mouse gold nanoparticles (GAM-Au NPs). The progesterone was detected in a bovine milk sample with minimal sample preparation, namely ½ dilution of the sample. Furthermore, the developed bioassay was benchmarked against a commercially available ELISA, showing excellent agreement (R2 = 0.95). Therefore, it is concluded that the automated FO-SPR platform can combine the advantages of the different existing methods for quantification of progesterone: sensitivity, accuracy, cost, time-to-result and ease-of-use.