Chromatographic competitive binding immunoassays: A comparison of the sequential and simultaneous injection methods

Mary Anne Nelson, Wanda S. Reiter, David S. Hage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Two approaches for performing competitive binding immunoassays by HPLC and other flow-based systems are the simultaneous and sequential injection methods. Both these techniques make use of a column with a limited amount of antibody, onto which is injected a sample and a fixed amount of a labeled analyte analog. An indirect measure of the unlabeled analyte in the sample is then obtained by looking at the amount of analog in either the nonretained or retained peaks. In the simultaneous injection mode, the sample and labeled analog are applied at the same time to the column, while in the sequential mode the sample is injected first, followed by the analog. This results in a difference in the analytical characteristics of these two approaches. This study used chromatographic theory and previous data obtained for injections of human serum albumin (HSA) onto an anti-HSA antibody column to compare the response, detection limits, range, and sensitivity of these methods. Under equivalent conditions, it was found that the sequential method always provided the best lower limit of detection and sensitivity. However, the simultaneous mode had a broader dynamic range and higher upper limit of detection. From these observations, several guidelines were developed regarding the use and selection of such assays for new applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-200
Number of pages13
JournalBiomedical Chromatography
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 2003


  • Chromatographic immunoassay
  • Flow injection immunoassay
  • Immunoaffinity chromatography
  • Immunoassay theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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