ELISA stands for enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. ELISA is the most common biochemical technique used in several applications including, blood screening, antibody/antigen detection, microbiology, and veterinary sciences. Moreover, it is a vital tool in medicine and plant pathology. Besides, ELISA is the primary technique for quality control studies in the food and beverages industry.
Therefore, since its early discovery in the 1970s, ELISA has become the primary biochemical technique for several industrial domains. With its use in a wide range of applications, ELISA assay development in drug discovery have numerous advantages Furthermore, depending on the intended use and availability of assay components, researchers have the option of choosing from four different types of ELISA assays. The different types of ELISA include direct ELISA, indirect ELISA, sandwich ELISA, and competitive ELISA. However, choosing an ideal method may vary from one laboratory to another.. Today’s article, highlights five primary advantages of ELISA assays that every researcher should be conscious of.
ELISA assay method is usually run in 96-well plates. However, most of these plates have break-apart arrays, making it possible to conduct smaller runs. Not to mention, a single 96-well plate ELISA assay provides results in less than 3 hours for a single run. Moreover, today’s research studies have demonstrated the use of 1586-well plates in high-throughput screening.
Automated systems reduce errors
Today several ELISA labs use automated systems to run ELISA assays. The robotic systems can perform the entire ELISA from start to end. These liquid handling systems can process up to 15 ELISAs in a single day shift. Nevertheless, automated systems limit errors associated with human handling.
As ELISA uses enzymes as reporter molecules, they provide higher sensitivity than conventional detecting techniques. An enzyme being an organic catalyst, a small portion can produce chromogenic reactions for detecting an analyte. Moreover, the sensitivity of ELISAs can be increased further to microgram or nanogram levels. However, higher sensitivity will require microplates covered with high-affinity antibodies.
ELISA method specificity depends on how selective an antibody or antigen is in the assay. The antigen or antibody only binds to the target if it has the desired epitope at the binding site. ELISA assays are specific because they help form a complementary association between the epitope and antigen-binding site at chemical and spatial configuration levels. This relationship produces strong specificity between the antibody and antigen.
And most importantly, ELISA assays are simple to perform.
ELISA assays are highly selective, specific, and simple to perform. Moreover, they are efficient as researchers can simultaneously analyze samples without complex and time-consuming sample pre-treatment. Additionally, ELISA assays don’t use any radioactive substances, and hence are safe and eco-friendly.
Due to several advantages, ELISA kits have become the preferred choice in most clinical, preclinical, and diagnostic applications. They are used in advanced scientific research and employed widely in routine diagnosis of diseases. However, ELISA assay validation will remain critical for generating reliable assay results.