Metals as labels in immunoassay

2017-05-25T14:12:46Z (GMT) by N.J. Wilmott
The basic principles of immunoassay were first reported by Berson and Yalow (1959) and since then it has become an extremely powerful technique in the determination of a broad spectrum of compounds. The power of the technique lying chiefly in the areas of specificity and versatility. The principles of immunoassay are basically straightforward. If the substance of analytical interest is foreign to an animal, typically a rabbit, sheep or goat, injection of that substance into the animal will cause the production of a glycoprotein, known as an antibody (Ab). The antibody produced will have a specificity for the substance that initiated its production, the antigen (Ag). Antigens are generally naturally occur~ng macromolecules, e.g., proteins, polysaccharides, nucleic acids, etc. Smaller molecules, e.g., drugs, hormones, peptides, etc., do not themselves initiate antibody production, but when coupled to a macromolecular carrier, e.g., a protein or a synthetic polypeptide, antibody production may be initiated. The resultant antibodies will react with the carrier linked molecule and also the small molecule alone. A small molecule of this type is known as a hapten.

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