Antibodies are immune proteins that can be easily engineered to bind (and “detect”) any given protein in via a simple vaccination method. To “signal” the presence of detected proteins, fluorophores are attached to “stain” the protein (and cell or tissue expressing it) a particular color. These fluorescent probes, have been utilized to identify the location of specific proteins in tissue sections (histology), single cells (microscopy) and quantify the amount of protein in cells (flow cytometry) and in complex mixtures (western blotting).
Additional signalling moieties that are often attached to antibodies include radioisotopes, colorimetric enzymes and nanoparticles. Overall, due to their ease of design and use, antibodies have become one of the most important tools in the biological and medical sciences.
- Howard, G.C.; Kaser, M.R. Making and Using Antibodies: A Practical Handbook CRC Press 2006
- Alberts, B. Molecular Biology of the Cell 5th Ed. Garland Science 2008
- Murphy, K. Janeway’s Immunobiology 8th Ed. Garland Science 2012
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