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Antibodies are fundamental to the operation of the immune system. Due to their sensitivity and versatile nature, antibodies are capable of recognising a wide range of targets. Antibody loops are composed of amino acids in hugely varied arrangements; it is this variation that gives each antibody the specificity and affinity to bind to a specific antigen. Antibodies can be modified in many ways to create specific binding properties for different applications and therapeutic purposes. Conjugation with another molecule, such as fluorophores, enzymes or haptins results in an antibody construct that can accurately detect and bind to the target of interest; whilst still being suitable for a chosen detection technique. The ability to alter antibodies has dramatically increased their potential and equipped researchers with greater capabilities. With so many options at your disposal, modified antibodies offer reliability and accuracy for your research projects.
Modified antibodies can be classified as follows:
Recombinant - fragments of antibodies created using recombinant coding genes.
Therapeutic - used to stimulate the immune system.
Bispecific - capable of binding to two different antigen types.
Labelled - can be used to detect or isolate and purify a protein of interest.
Modified Antibody Production
The inherent structure of antibodies lends itself to in vitro genetic manipulation particularly well; enabling the creation of a diverse range of Recombinant antibodies. Chemical modification of antibodies is carried out by conjugation or proteolysis. Recombinant antibodies can be conjugated to particular molecules to suit any purpose such as viruses, enzymes, cytotoxins, radionuclides and liposomes. Antibody-based reagents today can be tailor-made to meet any specificity and goal.
Advantages of Modified Antibodies
Modified antibodies have dramatically increased research potential. Traditionally, antibodies used in research have encountered a few issues. Some antibodies are more challenging to generate, particularly those for haptenic antigens. Furthermore, poor antibody stability leads to unreliable results and increased costs. To overcome these issues, chosen antibodies must be well suited to their intended detection methods; The use of modified antibodies has overcome these difficulties.
Monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies both have limitations; hence, the increasing use of recombinant antibodies in research.
The use of animals and hybridomas is not necessary for production, making research methods more ethical.
Once created, recombinants can be conjugated with a whole range of fluorophores, chromogens and enzymes.
Conjugation can eliminate the need for secondary antibodies, saving time and money.
Engineered antibodies can have a low molecular weight, allowing easier transport through cell walls.
Greater accuracy when identifying and quantifying a specific antigen even when amongst other similar antigens.
Modified antibodies are quick to generate on a large scale, often at a lower cost.
Conjugated antibodies are antibodies that have been linked to a chromogen or fluorochrome, enabling detection for a variety of applications. There are numerous benefits when using conjugated antibodies as it removes the need to use a secondary antibody for detection:
Decreased costs- No need for a potentially expensive secondary antibody.
Reduced experimental running times- Eliminate the secondary incubation period required for detection.
Eliminate potential cross reactivity in your samples and non-specific binding, providing more accurate results.
Allows the simultaneous detection of multiple target proteins in one experiment, reducing the nightmare of secondary cross reactivity.