Ultrafast Protein Determinations Using Microwave Enhancement

  • Robert E. Akins
  • Rocky S. Tuan
Part of the Springer Protocols Handbooks book series (SPH)


In this chapter, we describe modifications of existing protein assays that take advantage of microwave irradiation to reduce assay incubation times from the standard 15-60 min down to just seconds (1). Adaptations based on two standard protein assays will be described:

  1. 1.

    The classic method of Lowry et al. (ref. 2 and see  Chapter 2), which involves intensification of the biuret reaction through the addition of Folin-Ciocalteau phenol reagent; and

  2. 2.

    The recently developed method of Smith et al. (3), which involves intensification of the biuret assay through the addition of bicinchoninic acid (BCA) (see  Chapter 3).



Microwave Oven Microwave Field Microwave Energy Bovine Serum Albumin Concentration Microwave Exposure 
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  1. 1.
    Akins, R. E. and Tuan, R. S. (1992) Measurement of protein in 20 seconds using a microwave BCA assay. Biotechniques 12, 496–499.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Lowry, O. H., Rosebrough, N. J., Farr, A. L., and Randall, R. J. (1951) Protein measurement with the Folin phenol reagent. J. Biol. Chem.193, 265–275.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Smith, P. K., Krohn, R. I., Hermanson, G. T., Mallia, A. K., Gartner, F. H., Provenzano, M. D., Fujimoto, E. K., Goeke, N. M., Olson, B. J., and Klenk, D. C. (1985) Measurement of protein using bicinchoninic acid. Analyt. Biochem. 150, 76–85.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Kok, L. P. and Boon, M. E. (1992) Microwave Cookbook for Microscopists. Coulomb, Leyden, Leiden, Netherlands.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert E. Akins
    • 1
  • Rocky S. Tuan
    • 2
  1. 1.Nemours Biomedical Research Program, A.I. duPont Hospital for ChildrenWilmington
  2. 2.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryThomas Jefferson University Philadelphia

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