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Antibodies are widely employed in the quantification of antigens in complex biological samples. Using techniques such as Western blotting, ELISA, and immunohistochemistry researchers are able to measure a single antigen, or perhaps a limited number of antigens, in each sample. In the post-genomics era, advances in multiplex immunoassay technologies now allow scores or even hundreds of antigens to be measured simultaneously.

In order to use unlabeled antibodies it is necessary to adopt an indirect detection method. In this approach, the primary antibody binds to its target antigen and is then detected with a secondary reagent, commonly another antibody that bears the required label. In multiplex assays it becomes increasingly difficult to create a panel of secondary reagents with the desired selectivity and lack of unwanted cross-reactions if there are more than two or three primary antibodies.

The simpler approach to conjugation is likely to shift the balance of indirect detection technologies toward those of direct detection. Researchers carrying out immuno-detection procedures can eliminate the tedious secondary incubation and wash steps. Intuitively, one can also see how data quality is likely to be improved by a reduction in the number of assay variables.

Abcore offers antibody conjugation with HRP, Biotin, FITC, and others. Please contact Abcore for more information.