Developing a custom antibody should not be improvised. Many parameters must be taken into account, and for that you must ask yourself the right questions. Here are a few preliminary questions of great importance you should answer before starting a project.
This survey comprises 14 questions about your future project, and may take over half an hour to be completed. Please make sure you have enough time available at this time to go through. If not, you can download our pre-project form and answer the questions at your own pace, and then come back to our online form to fill in the corresponding fields. All questions do not require to be answered. If you don't have the answer or do not wish to communicate it to us at this time, you can skip the question to the next one, and your choice will be taken into consideration.
However, keep in mind that once validated and saved into our database, you won't be able to modify your answers without filling in the form completely once more.
Many antigens are proteins but sometimes antibodies can be raised against molecules of different nature such as haptens. Knowing if your antigen is not a protein is of great importance for the immunisation procedure since small molecules might not be immunogenic enough.
Depending on the species of origin, it may be necessary to perform tests on pre-immune serum samples from the host animal to ensure that its immunoreactivity is low before starting the immunisation protocol.
Many proteins carry conserved amino acid sequences among one given kingdom, order, family etc. The presence of one or more of these patterns may confer a non-negligible intra- or inter-species cross-reactivity to the final antibodies, and must be taken into account.
Not all materials are easily soluble in common buffers and need chaotropic agents such as urea or guanidine to be added to increase their solubility. However, these compounds are often harmful for the host animal and must be kept below critical concentrations for the injections. If you feel that this can be a problem, please do not forget to mention it to your project officer.
You might want your antibody to target only the amino- or carboxy-terminal part of a cytoplasmic protein, or a specific extracellular domain of a transmembrane protein. Various strategies can be considered depending on this parameter.
By nature, polyclonal antibodies will target multiple epitopes of your antigen. Even anti-peptide polyclonal antibodies, whose epitope recognition spectrum is reduced, will not be exactly identical and can still exhibit unwanted epitope binding variations.
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Failing to detect something does not mean there actually is nothing. When developing a custom antibody, we assume that you can provide a positive control of the presence of your antigen within your application.
Anti-protein antibody development projects require at least a few hundreds of micrograms to over 1 milligram of protein, but may require more (e.g. in case of low immunoreactivity and/or if the antibodies need to be immunopurified). If producing your antigen is expensive, difficult and/or time-consuming, we may suggest you alternative solutions.
Sample preparations such as antiserum or cell culture supernatant can be used as is for some non-sensitive applications. However, depending on the application you plan to use your antibody in, a purification step may be necessary to get rid of other plasma / culture medium components which could lead to unexpected and unwanted background signal.
Please note that knowing the application in which you intend to use the final antibody is only a guideline for the project definition. We cannot guarantee taht the antibody will actually be effective in this application.
Depending on your application and the final use of your antibody, it might be necessary to use unconventional immunoglobulins such as class Y immunoglobulins or heavy chain IgG from camelids.
If you already have some clues about the host species in which you would like to have your antibody developed and why, feel free to discuss it with your project officer who will be able to validate your choice or give you more information which could make you change your mind.
Some applications do not even require the antibodies to be purified. On the other hand, some other require antibodies as pure as possible. If you have no idea about the purity level required for your application, your project officer will give you all the necessary information to guide you.
Polyclonal antibodies development projects are ‘one-shot’. Production of immune serum is animal-dependent and may vary dramatically from one individual to another. On the other hand, stable clones of monoclonal antibodies can produce large quantities of antibodies and can be stored frozen for further productions.
Monoclonal antibody development require higher technical skills, are 2- to 3-fold longer than polyclonal antibody development projects, and are consequently more expensive. But keep in mind that at the end of the project, you own all rights including intellectual property rights over the hybridomas we developed for you.
From now on, you have all the preliminary elements to start defining your project with your dedicated project officer. With a high scientific and technical background, he/she will discuss your project thoroughly and give you the best solution to your need.
Please fill in the following contact information form so that your project officer can contact you back:
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