Measurements of the true affinity constant in solution of antigen-antibody complexes by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay

J Immunol Methods. 1985 Mar 18;77(2):305-19. doi: 10.1016/0022-1759(85)90044-4.


A simple, general procedure is described for the determination of the dissociation constant (KD) of antigen-antibody equilibria in solution. First the monoclonal antibody is incubated in solution with the antigen until the equilibrium is reached; then the proportion of antibody which remains unsaturated at equilibrium is measured by a classical indirect ELISA. The experimental values of KD found by this ELISA procedure for 2 monoclonal antibodies are shown to be very close to those obtained by conventional methods (immunoprecipitation of the radiolabeled antigen, or fluorescence transfer). Moreover, it is shown that, provided the measurements are made under conditions where the total antigen concentration is in large excess over the total antibody concentration, the dissociation constant of antibody-antigen complexes can be determined even with crude preparations of monoclonal antibody. The sensitivity of the ELISA used permits the detection of very small concentrations of antibody and the determination of KD values as small as 10(-9) M. This method also offers the great advantage of dealing with unmodified molecules since no labeling of either the antigen or the antibody is required.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibody Affinity*
  • Antigen-Antibody Complex*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Solutions
  • Spectrometry, Fluorescence
  • Tryptophan Synthase / immunology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigen-Antibody Complex
  • Solutions
  • Tryptophan Synthase