ELISA (Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay) is the most innovative product in analytical biochemistry for detection and quantitation of very small amounts of analytes in solution using an antibody conjugated to an enzyme. The ELISA kits are used as one of the most powerful tools of quality control in different sectors.
They are especially designed for the diagnosis of human and animal diseases, drug screening or detection of toxins and pathogens in humans, animals and plants or even for the determination of the levels of antibodies, cytokines or hormones, amongst others.
ELISA is also used for the food industry, precisely detecting potential food allergens such as peanuts, walnuts, almonds, as well as dairy and egg, being equally employed in the preliminary toxicology as rapidly screen for certain classes of drugs.
Scientists use different kinds of ELISA kits that have one characteristic in common: they all rely on antibody-antigen interaction, which is analyzed by marking with an enzyme, which is responsible for catalyzing a reaction in the a substrate that is converted, generating a colored product that can be detected with a spectrophotometer.
There are four types of ELISA: direct, indirect, competitive and sandwich. Of these, direct and sandwich are used for both detection and quantification of antigens and indirect ELISAs are frequently used for the detection and quantification of other antibodies.
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