There are many different types of immunoassays, but they typically include three main components:
- Target analyte: The antigen you want to detect within a sample.
- Antibody: Y-shaped proteins that bind specifically to the target analyte.
- Detection label: A label, usually coupled to the antibody or antigen, that generates a measurable signal (e.g., color, fluorescence or luminescence).
When the target analyte and antibodies are mixed together, they bind specifically to each other like a lock and key. The unbound antibodies are “washed” off or separated from the antigen-bound antibody. Either the free antibody or antigen-antibody complexes are then measured by detecting the signal generated from the detection label.
Traditional immunoassays have slow, tedious protocols that include multiple wash steps. However, the advancement of new detection technologies has led to faster, no-wash immunoassays, such as Lumit™ Immunoassays. Learn about the different types of immunoassays below.