2007 Volume 75 Issue 1 Pages 13-22
Detection of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) is an important environmental, security and health concern for the global community. TNT is a prime constituent of most of the landmines and bombs and is highly toxic and mutagenic. Various military and terrorist activities (e.g., manufacturing, waste discharge, testing and training) have resulted in extensive contamination of soil and ground water by TNT and its derivatives. Consequently, the development and application of new sensing techniques for detection and quantification of TNT has grown steadily over the years. Despite wide variety of analytical techniques, surface plasmon resonance (SPR) based immunosensors received great attention as a promising mean for TNT detection due to their advantages including high sensitivity, selectivity, good versatility and high throughput. This review explores the recent trend and advancements in immunochemical techniques for environmental monitoring and field detection of TNT. The advantages of the surface plasmon resonance as an optical signal transduction and indirect competitive immunoassay as the sensing principle are discussed with special emphasis on our investigations on TNT detection. A brief description on explosives, land-mines and the current detection techniques (bulk and trace detection) is also provided.