Document Type



Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor's Name

Bruce McCord

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Kathleen Rein

Third Advisor's Name

Yong Cai


Immunosorbents, Solid Phase Extraction, Benzodiazepines, Immobilization, Capillary Electrophoresis

Date of Defense



The use of capillary electrophoresis (CE) has been restricted to applications having high sample concentrations because of its low sensitivity caused by small injection volumes and, when ultraviolet (UV) detection is used, the short optical path length. Sensitivity in CE can be improved by using more sensitive detection systems, or by preconcentration techniques which are based on chromatographic and/or electrophoretic principles. One of the promising strategies to improve sensitivity is solid phase extraction (SPE). Solid Phase Extraction utilizes high sample volumes and a variety of complex matrixes to facilitate trace detection. To increase the specificity of the SPE a selective solid phase must be chosen. Immunosorbents, which are a combination of an antibody and a solid support, have proven to be an excellent option because of high selectivity of the antibody. This thesis is an exploratory study of the application of immunosorbent-SPE combined with CE for trace concentration of benzodiazepines.

This research describes the immobilization and performance evaluation of an immunosorbent prepared by immobilizing a benzodiazepine-specific antibody on aminopropyl silica. The binding capacity of the immunosorbent, measured as µg of benzodiazepine/ gram of immunosorbent, was 39 ± 10. The long term stability of the prepared immunosorbent has been improved by capping the remaining aminopropyl groups by reaction with acetic anhydride. The capped immunosorbent retained its binding capacity after several uses.





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