Structure-function studies of antibody-antigen systems include the identification of amino acid residues in the antigen that interact with an antibody and elucidation of their individual contributions to binding affinity. We used fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) and alanine-scanning mutagenesis to characterize the interactions of brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) with two monoclonal antibodies. Human BNP is a 32 amino acid residue long cyclic polypeptide with the ring structure confined between cysteines in positions 10 and 26. It is an important cardiovascular hormone and a valuable diagnostic cardiac marker. We compare the binding strength of the N-terminus Alexa488-labeled BNP, native cyclic BNP, BNP alanine-substituted mutants, linear BNP, and its short fragments to determine the individual contributions of amino acid residues included in the continuous antigenic epitopes that are recognized by two different monoclonal antibodies raised toward BNP. Implementation of FCS for these studies offers all of the advantages of solution phase measurements, including high sensitivity, simplicity of manipulation with reagents, and elimination of solid phase interferences or separation steps. Significant differences in the molecular masses of the free and antibody bound BNP results in a substantial (∼2.5-times) increase in the diffusion rates. Determination of the binding constants and inhibition effects by measuring the diffusion rates of the ligand at the single molecule level introduces the ultimate opportunity for researching systems where the fluorescence intensity and/or fluorescence anisotropy do not change upon interaction of the ligand with the protein. Monoclonal antibodies 106.3 and BC203 demonstrate high affinities to BNP and bind two distant epitopes forming robust antibody sandwiches. Both antibodies are used in Abbott diagnostic assays on AxSYM, IMx, and Architect platforms.