1.1 Objectives: In material from living organisms it is necessary to detect and quantify substances in very low concentrations. The analytical procedures are time consuming an tedious. A system will be developed which allows the detection and measurement of these substances in very low concentrations in a short time. This is of interest for medical and environmental authorities. Actually, most of the sample preparations and measurements are done in one day or overnight. As medical staff needs quick response it is desirable to shorten these procedures. 1.2 Content of the project: The new proposed technic uses capillaries in which the diffusion distance is less than in vials or microtiter plates. The measurement with fluorescent solutions is possible till a concentration of 10e-11 mole /Lin normal glass capillaries. By using the wall of this capillary as guidance for light, fluorescent molecules can be measured at the inner wall side due to the "evanescent waves". If the wall is coated with an antigen, then a competitive binding of antibodies is possible. By adding a known amount of fluorescently labelled antibodies and measuring the fluorescence it is possible to calculate the unlabelled amount present. This is called the Multiple Internal Reflexion Assay (MIRA).
1.3 Training content of the proposal: Normal fluorescence will fade away in nanosecond after glow excitation but there are some lanthanides with much longer fluorescent time. Complexes of those are of interest to easily measure these long lasting fluorescence and to improve the sensitivity of these measurements. The development of lanthanide complexes for dying microbeads and for coupling to important biological molecules is a first priority and of absolute necessity. This includes the synthesis of different cryptates complexes of Eu, Tb, Sm, Dys lanthanides, thesynthesis of new molecules of desired optical effectivity and their
functionnalization to generate covalent bonds with the host biomolecules or synthetic surfaces, the staining of small synthetic beads and capillaries. 1.4 benefit and expected impact: All measurements, which are useful and necessary for medical or authoritative staff to make rapid and good decisions, should be as easy, convenient and resonable as possible. Measurements which are not yet in use as DNA/RNA tests for viral or genetical diseases, or tests for environmental monitoring of soil and water. Easy determinations of medical and biological parameters will contribute to health and have a cost saving effect. Measurements of soil and water determinations will help to protect consumers from harmful usage and will enable authorities to find relevant regulations. Elsewere, in economical and industrial area, the market of immunoassays is great. In future a growing market for analyses of DNA/RNA, cell compartments and even whole cells is expected. Producing a system which works rather time- and costsaving will have good chances on the European market and will also open the possibility for the SME's to get market positions. 1.5 Links with industry: Three High tech SME's and two institutionals (University of Nancy, France), University of Tubingen, Germany) in different EC countries. SME's are partners for their own part in the project and are: "Microcoat" a German SME in Penzberg, "Biomedizintechnik" a SME in Offenburg (Germany), "Bristol Colloid center" a SME in Great Britain. The outcome of the research will strengthen the scientific basis and competitiveness of the European Health industry by providing a cost effective measurement system for analysing human and animal fluids as well as environmental soil and water.