Biosensor technology employing surface plasmon resonance (SPR) detection provides a highly-sensitive (sub ng), non-extrinsic labelling approach for monitoring protein interactions in real-time. We have used this approach to map the binding sites on human interleukin-6 (hIL-6) for a series of anti-hIL-6 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). Epitopes were localised by monitoring the ability of ten synthetic peptides, spanning the sequence of hIL-6, to inhibit the binding of anti-hIL-6 mAbs to immobilised hIL-6. Peptide P8 (Pro139-Gln153) inhibited binding of anti-IL-6-mAbs 1, 2 and 7. To increase the sensitivity of detection of antibody-synthetic peptide interactions, a procedure was developed for immobilising the synthetic peptides directly to the sensor surface of the SPR instrument. From this study, association equilibrium constants of 2.1 x 10(6)M-1 and 3.6 x 10(4)M-1 were calculated for the mAb7-immobilised P8 and mAb7-free P8 interactions, respectively.