For a number of years immunoassays have been a major tool in development and
determination of drugs in biological fluids.
The immunoassay techniques commonly applied in industry at present are those based on
micro titre plates consisting of 96 wells. These assays although more complicated, time
consuming and labour intensive have for some time been available in an automated
format. Immunoassays utilising flowing streams have proven to be quicker, less labour
intensive and simpler to perform but until recently have not been available in automated
formats. It has been possible with the development of a novel immunoaffinity matrix,
POROS Ha, to improve the speed ofimmunoassays without loss of precision and to
operate in an automated format. This format involved a AS3000 Hitachi auto sampler, a
KlOOO Hitachi automatic flow analyser operating a 16 way injection valve and a F4500
Hitachi fluorescence detector, all controlled using a 486 microprocessor. It was possible,
using the system described above, to develop an automated immunoassay producing a
sample through put of 40 samples per hour. This system combines the sensitivity and
specificity of fluorescence immunoassay together with the automation of a simple flow
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.