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The ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) is recognized by scientists for its many advantages. The assay is convenient, quick, and simple to execute. ELISA’s versatility to detect peptides, proteins, antibodies, and hormones, and its ability to generate quantitative and qualitative data make it one of the most popular and powerful immunoassays available.
In response to popular demand, numerous commercial ELISA kits are offered in the market, but not all ELISA kits are created equal.
How do we sift through the masses and choose a good ELISA kit?
Keep in mind the following points next time you go hunting for an ELISA kit.
Commercial ELISA kits for commonly used species, such as human, mouse, and/or rat, are readily available. For more unique species like monkey, canine, or porcine, there will be a limited number of available ELISA kits. In this case, choose the kit that has been validated for species that show homology with your sample species. As a rule of thumb, if the sequences are 90%+ identical, there is a high chance of cross-reactivity for your species of interest.
Always check to see if your sample type has been validated by the manufacturer. ELISA kits can be validated for a wide range of samples, including cell culture supernates, serum, plasma (heparin, EDTA), cell lysate, and tissue. We want to select an ELISA kit that is compatible with your precious samples. If you’re unsure, contact support!
One of the most frustrating issues after performing an ELISA is when you realize that the strong signal obtained is actually a false positive result. Cross-reactivity has occurred. The antibodies have attached themselves to some other molecule instead of the target analyte.
On the other hand, interference happens when components in the sample matrix change antibody-antigen interaction, inhibiting the antibodies to find the target analyte.
How irritating, eh? We understand.
Boster’s PicokineTM ELISA kits have been optimized for minimal to no cross-reactivity and interference. We don’t just strive for high specificity, we require high specificity.
When looking at an ELISA kit’s specifications, remember to check for any cross-reactivity information provided by the manufacturer.
Do you have a general idea about the concentration of the target analyte in your sample?
If you have no clue about the concentration, it might be wise to choose an ELISA kit with a broad detection range.
If you know your samples contain extremely low levels of the target analyte, you need ELISA kits with high sensitivity for detection (such as Boster’s PicokineTM ELISA kits).
Our ELISA kits are empowered by our proprietary coating and blocking technology to achieve picogram-level sensitivity, high signal, and minimal background. Many of our ELISA kits are sensitive enough to detect as low as single-digit picogram limits!
Always be sure of the sensitivity and assay range before you purchase an ELISA kit. Remember, the more sensitive the kit is, the lower the working range will be.
If you’re considering sandwich ELISA, the pre-coated ELISA kit will utilize a matched antibody pair, in which the capture and detection antibody will each bind to a different, non-overlapping epitope of the antigen molecule.
It is typically better to have polyclonal and monoclonal antibody pairs, which prevents competition for the same binding site on an antigen.
Superior quality sandwich ELISA kits will have undergone extensive testing to select the optimal antibody pair for analyte detection. Suppliers should provide information about the antibody pairs included in their ELISA kits.
What are you waiting for? Enter your target protein in the search bar on top and find your Boster ELISA kit today!
Questions? Contact [email protected] and we will be happy to assist you.