Analytical Chemistry

Quantifying Antibody Binding Kinetics on Fixed Cells and Tissues via Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging

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We present a method for monitoring spatially localized antigen-antibody binding events on physiologically relevant substrates (cell and tissue sections) using fluorescence lifetime imaging. Specifically, we use the difference between the fluorescence decay times of fluorescently tagged antibodies in free solution and in the bound state to track the bound fraction over time and hence deduce the binding kinetics. We make use of a microfluidic probe format to minimize the mass transport effects and localize the analysis to specific regions of interest on the biological substrates. This enables measurement of binding constants (kon) on surface-bound antigens and on cell blocks using model biomarkers. Finally, we directly measure p53 kinetics with differential biomarker expression in ovarian cancer tissue sections, observing that the degree of expression corresponds to the changes in kon, with values of 3.27-3.50 × 103M-1s-1for high biomarker expression and 2.27-2.79 × 103M-1s-1for low biomarker expression.