This unit describes six different ELISA systems for the detection of specific antibodies, soluble antigens, or cell-surface antigens. In all six systems, soluble reactants are removed from solution after specifically binding to solid-phase reactants. In the first four protocols, solid-phase reactants are prepared by adsorbing an antigen or antibody onto plastic microtiter plates; in the next two protocols, the solid-phase reactants are cell-associated molecules. In all protocols, the solid-phase reagents are incubated with secondary or tertiary reactants covalently coupled to an enzyme. Unbound conjugates are washed out and a chromogenic or fluorogenic substrate is added. As the substrate is hydrolyzed by the bound enzyme conjugate, a colored or fluorescent product is generated. Finally, the product is detected visually or with a microtiter plate reader. The amount of product generated is proportional to the amount of analysate in the test mixture. One of the support protocols can be used to optimize the different ELISAs. A second support protocol presents a method for preparing alkaline phosphatase conjugates.
Keywords: ELISA; antibody; antigen; enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay; solid-phase reactants.
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