What is ELISA?
ELISA (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay) is a common laboratory technique used to detect and measure the presence of antibodies or antigens in a sample.
What can ELISA do for scientists?
ELISA is a valuable tool for scientists in many fields, as it allows them to detect and quantify the presence of specific molecules in a sample. Here are some of the ways that ELISA can be useful for scientists:
Medical and Biological Research: ELISA can be used to detect and measure the levels of antibodies, antigens, and other biomolecules in biological samples. This information can be used to study various diseases and conditions, including infectious diseases, autoimmune disorders, and cancer.
Drug Development: ELISA can be used to screen potential drug candidates and determine their efficacy. For example, ELISA can be used to measure the binding of a drug candidate to its target molecule, or to measure the levels of a particular protein or biomarker in response to a drug.
Quality Control: ELISA can be used to ensure the quality and consistency of biological products, such as vaccines and antibodies. ELISA can be used to measure the levels of specific antibodies or antigens in these products, helping to ensure that they are effective and safe.
Environmental Monitoring: ELISA can be used to detect and measure the levels of pollutants, toxins, and other environmental contaminants in water, soil, and air samples.
Overall, ELISA is a versatile and powerful tool that can be used in many different applications, making it an essential tool for many scientists.
ELISA Techniques and Protocols
There are a plethora of techniques and protocols that can be used to carry out an ELISA test, listed below are the most frequently used for research and development.
Direct ELISA: In a direct ELISA, the target molecule (usually an antigen) is immobilised on the microplate and a labelled primary antibody is used to detect it. The signal generated by the labelled antibody is proportional to the amount of antigen present in the sample.
Indirect ELISA: In an indirect ELISA, the target molecule is immobilised on the microplate and a primary antibody is added to bind to it. A secondary antibody that is labelled (usually with an enzyme) is then added to bind to the primary antibody, generating a signal that is proportional to the amount of antigen present in the sample.
Sandwich ELISA: In a sandwich ELISA, two antibodies are used to detect the target molecule. The first antibody (the capture antibody) is immobilised on the microplate and binds to the target molecule. The second antibody (the detection antibody) is labelled and binds to a different site on the target molecule. This results in a sandwich-like structure, which generates a signal that is proportional to the amount of target molecule present in the sample.
Competitive ELISA: In a competitive ELISA, a labelled antigen is used to compete with the antigen in the sample for binding to a limited amount of immobilised antibody. The signal generated is inversely proportional to the amount of antigen in the sample, allowing for the quantification of the antigen in the sample.
How does it work?
ELISA works by using antibodies to detect and measure the presence of specific proteins or antigens in a sample through a series of binding reaction and detection steps, it's best to explore our dedicated webpage that goes into more depth
Examples of Applications for Each ELISA Type
||Quantifying the amount of an antigen in a sample
Detecting viral or bacterial proteins in patient samples
Monitoring therapeutic drug levels in patients
||Detecting the presence of antibodies in a patient's serum
Screening for infectious disease such as HIV and hepatitis
Measuring the immune response to vaccines
|Direct sandwich ELISA
||Measuring the amount of a specific protein in a biological sample
Detecting cancer biomarkers in patient serum
Monitoring the concentration of cytokines in cell culture supernatants
|Indirect sandwich ELISA
||Detecting the presence of autoantibodies in patient serum
Measuring the concentration of cytokines in biological fluids
Detecting allergen-specific IgE antibodies in patient serum
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