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A flow-through enzyme-linked immunoassay for progesterone

Bovine reproductive performance is one of the most important factors influencing dairy farm profitability. Present-day techniques for oestrus- and pregnancy-detection are unreliable and labour-intensive. Although measuring milk-progesterone at regular intervals allows the fertility status of a cow to be determined reliably, the labour cost of collecting and analysing samples is prohibitive. This project aimed to develop a progesterone sensing system that could be automated and integrated with the milking unit, thus minimising labour costs. The proposed system involved mixing the milk sample with an enzyme-antibody conjugate and then passing the sample through a column containing immobilised progesterone. Any progesterone in the milk would inhibit conjugate binding to the column. An enzyme substrate would then flow through the column and bound conjugate would be detected as a colour change at the column's outlet. Periodate-coupling was used to attach horseradish peroxidase enzyme to anti-progesterone antibody, and progesterone-3-carboxymethyloxime was immobilised on the polystyrene bead surface using amine-coupling. Both techniques are widely used. Initial experiments attempted to verify the success of these two reactions simultaneously, whereas later experiments focused on the bead-coating. Beads were suspended in a specially-constructed syringe and the antibody activity of the eluted solution was measured by SPR. However, a combination of non-specific binding and antibody stability and activity issues meant neither reaction was conclusively verified. Many trials were done to investigate how to overcome the problems encountered but a suitable, workable procedure was not developed. Despite poor progress, the problems encountered did not undermine the project's potential. There remains optimism of developing an on-line method if research were to continue.
Type of thesis
Orchard, R. G. (2007). A flow-through enzyme-linked immunoassay for progesterone (Thesis, Master of Science (MSc)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/2277
The University of Waikato
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