Immunological determination of the pharmaceutical diclofenac in environmental and biological samples

Dietmar Knopp*, Anping Deng, Marion Letzel, Mark Taggart, Markus Himmelsbach, Qing Zhi Zhu, Iris Peröbner, Blazej Kudlak, Siegfried Frey, Manfred Sengl, Wolfgang Buchberger, Clyde Hutchinson, Andrew Cunningham, Debbie Pain, Richard Cuthbert, Andrea Raab, Andrew Meharg, Gerry Swan, Yadvendradev Jhala, Vibhu PrakashAsad Rahmani, Miguel Quevedo, Reinhard Niessner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

12 Citations (Scopus)


A highly sensitive and specific competitive ELISA on 96-microwell plates was developed for the analysis of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac. Within the water cycle in Europe, this is one of the most frequently detected pharmaceutically active compounds. The LOD at a signal-tonoise ratio (S/N) of 3, and the IC 50, were found to be 6 ng/L and 60 ng/L respectively in tap water. In a comparative study using ELISA and GC-MS, diclofenac levels in wastewater from 21 sewage treatment plants were determined and a good correlation between these methods was found (ELISA vs. GCMS: r = 0.70, slope = 0,90, intercept = 0.37, n = 24). An average degradation rate of -25% can be calculated. Labscale-experiments on the elimination of diclofenac in continuous pilot sewage plants revealed a removal rate of only 5% over a period of 13 weeks. In a further study, the ELISA was applied to a number of extracts of various animal tissues from a range of species, and again a very good relationship between ELISA and LC-ESI/MS data sets was obtained (r = 0.90, p<0.0001; n = 117). The ELISA has proven to be a simple, rapid, reliable and affordable alternative to otherwise costly and advanced techniques for the detection of diclofenac in matrix diverse water samples and tissue extracts after only relatively simple sample preparation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationACS Symposium Series
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Publication series

NameACS Symposium Series
ISSN (Print)00976156

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)


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