A quantitative test for copper using bicinchoninic acid

Andrew J. Brenner, Edward D. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

162 Scopus citations


We describe a direct colorimetric assay for copper in serum and biological samples using 2,2′-bicinchoninic acid (BCA), a common reagent in most laboratories. BCA offers the advantage of being highly sensitive and specific for Cu(I) which rapidly forms an intense purple complex in the presence of BCA. The complex has peak absorbances at 562 and 354.5 nm with molar absorptivities of 7.7 × 103 liter mol-1 cm-1 and 4.6 × 104 liter mol-1 cm-1, respectively. Interference by other metal ions, pH, and detergents is minimal and the results correlate strongly with atomic absorption spectrophotometry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-84
Number of pages5
JournalAnalytical Biochemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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