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 Alexander Meharg, Gerry Swan, Yadvendradev Jhala, Vibhu PrakashAsad Rahmani, Miguel Quevedo, Reinhard Niessner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPublished conference contribution

14 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-to-noise ratio (S/N) of 3, and the IC50, 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. GC-MS: r = 0.70, slope = 0.90, intercept = 0.37, n = 24). An average degradation rate of approximate to 25% can be calculated. Lab-scale-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 publicationRational Environmental Management of Agrochemicals
Subtitle of host publicationRisk Assessment, Monitoring, and Remedial Action
EditorsIvan R. Kennedy, Keith R. Solomon, Shirley J. Gee, Angus N. Crossan, Shuo Wang, Francisco Sánchez-Bayo
Place of PublicationWashington D.C.
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9780841220874
ISBN (Print)9780841274204
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Publication series

NameACS symposium series


  • antiinflammatory drug diclofenac
  • waste-water treatment
  • aquatic environment
  • mass-spectrometry
  • clofibric acid
  • gyps-bengalensis
  • rainbow-trout
  • part 1
  • sewage
  • fate


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