Many biotechnological applications use protein receptors immobilized on solid supports. Although, in solution, these receptors display homogeneous binding affinities and association/dissociation kinetics for their complementary ligand, they often display heterogeneous binding characteristics after immobilization. In this study, a fluorescence-based fiber-optic biosensor was used to quantify the heterogeneity associated with the binding of a soluble analyte, fluorescently labeled trinitrobenzene, to surface-immobilized monoclonal anti-TNT antibodies. The antibodies were immobilized on silica fiber-optic probes via five different immobilization strategies. We used the Sips isotherm to assesses and compare the heterogeneity in the antibody binding affinity and kinetic rate parameters for these different immobilization schemes. In addition, we globally analyzed kinetic data with a two-compartment transport-kinetic model to analyze the heterogeneity in the analyte-antibody kinetics. These analyses provide a quantitative tool by which to evaluate the relative homogeneity of different antibody preparations. Our results demonstrate that the more homogeneous protein preparations exhibit more uniform affinities and kinetic constants.
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