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Benefits of An Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay Towards Your Bioanalytical Needs

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In-vitro diagnostics are an integral part of the healthcare system. ELISA or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays are the most widely employed in vitro assays in clinical diagnostics. The development of ELISA assays and their use in clinical diagnostics has considerably lowered healthcare costs, helped detect diseases early, and facilitated better therapeutic outcomes. The turnaround time for ELISA assays has been reduced from around 24 hours to a couple of hours. In fact, most assays today have a turnaround time of less than an hour.

ELISA assays have a wide range of applications, including  their use in microbiology, veterinary, food industry, and immunology. ELISA assays also play a massive role in pharmaceutical sciences with  PD and PK ELISA assays. It uses antibodies to capture the target antigen, and a detection system is then employed to detect and measure the antigen.

Advantages of ELISA assays

ELISA has several benefits over its other immunoassay counterparts. It is highly sensitive and specific and provides more accurate results compared to other immunoassay techniques such as radioimmunoassay.

Generally, ELISA tests are performed on 96-well plates; however, most  plates can be broken apart to run a smaller number of samples. Along with the flexibility of running smaller study samples, 96-wells means all these samples can be analyzed in a single run, reducing cost and time.

Compared to other immunoassays, ELISA does not need any costly radiation counters or radioisotopes. Hence, a substantial amount of organic solvents and radioisotopes can be avoided making ELISA assays more eco-friendly and safe.

Moreover, bioanalytical labs today have fully automated ELISA systems. These systems have robotic handling units that can perform the entire assays on their own. Such hands-free systems can run up to 15 assays in a single day shift.

Emerging ELISA assays for bioanalytical development

Direct ELISA, indirect ELISA, sandwich ELISA, and competitive ELISA are the conventional types of ELISA assays. These ELISA assays have been the foundational methods in several bioanalytical processes. However, current technological advances have paved the way for several emerging ELISA assays. Let us consider some of the current ELISA technologies.

High-sensitive Sandwich ELISA: There are several types of high-sensitive sandwich ELISAs. They are enhanced further by using chemiluminescent detection. Such enhancement provides a 125-fold higher sensitivity compared to commercial sandwich ELISA kits. 

Highly specified Rapid Sandwich ELISA: These assays are developed to provide rapid test results. One such rapid ELISA uses the single-step kinetics-based technique, which  requires minimum assay steps and provides results within 30 mins.

Wash-free immunoassays: Wash-free immunoassays provide a distinct wash-free approach that substantially reduces the turnaround time. Moreover, it is highly sensitive and allows superior performance compared to traditional ELISA assays.

Multiplex immunoassays: Multiplex immunoassays have changed the way we process bioanalytical samples. These assays can detect up to 500 analytes in a single run.

That said, there are many more modern applications of ELISA assays in bioanalytical development. These applications include Nano/Micromaterial-based ELISA, Paper-based ELISA, Microfluidics-based ELISA, Smartphone-based ELISA, and Portable Analyzer-based ELISA.

The Road Ahead

ELISA assays have become the backbone of bioanalytical services. However, a robust ELISA assay development service and validation are necessary for the continued growth of immunoassays in clinical and nonclinical analysis.