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Fluorescence Polarization Immunoassays (FPIA) for Food Safety: a Rapid Detection System for Pathogens and Chemicals


Fluorescence Polarization Immunoassays (FPIAs) are rapid, accurate and homogeneous. Fluorescent-labeled small molecules rotate rapidly in solution and when bound to larger molecules (i.e. antibodies), the rotation rate is decreased and measurable. FP readers are available in high-throughput-screening (HTS) formats (>50,000 samples/day) or as field portable instruments.
FPIA offers competitive advantages over existing technologies because they are quicker, easier, portable, and inexpensive. Most FP tests can be performed in minutes and are considered to be equivalent or superior in performance to enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).
This study seeks to expand the utility of food/water-borne pathogen/chemical-specific antibodies for rapid, accurate and simple use in both laboratory and field settings by formatting them as fluorescence polarization immunoassays.

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Expected Impact of Project Outcomes on Food Safety in Ontario:
FPIAs offer competitive advantages over existing technologies because they are rapid, easier, portable, and less expensive to perform. Most FP tests can be performed in seconds to minutes and are considered to be equivalent or superior in performance to Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assays (ELISAs) and are much more portable and amenable to high throughput screening than ELISA, HPLC, and GC/MS analysis.
Multiple testing platforms are available. A one-well fluorescence polarization diagnostic instrument has been developed for field use. This instrument is lightweight and portable, with no moving parts and minimal power requirements provided from a laptop computer battery. For high throughput screening (HTS) applications several FP instruments (i.e. the EnVisionTM in our laboratory) can perform up to 50,000 samples per day. This method, based on ease of use and versatility, would be available as an inexpensive and rapid platform technology for adoption and use by the food and water safety network in Ontario.
<P> For more information, please visit the <a href="; target="_blank">Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) Food Safety Research Program</a>.

Hall, Christopher
University of Guelph
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