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Primary antibodies directly bind specific antigens with high specificity and affinity. They can be either monoclonal antibodies, which bind to a specific epitope, or polyclonal antibodies that bind to several epitopes of an antigen. Primary antibodies are predominantly used in immunoassays such as ELISA, western blot, immunohistochemistry, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), or flow cytometry. For antigen detection, primary antibodies can be conjugated to reporter enzymes or fluorophores, which facilitates quantification or analysis of antigen expression.
Conjugated primary antibodies often eliminate the need for secondary antibodies; however certain experimental conditions may require their use. Secondary antibodies are developed against the Fc portion of a purified primary antibody, and are often conjugated for antigen detection purposes. In addition, they are developed against the host species of the primary antibody, such that a primary antibody raised in goat will require an anti-goat secondary antibody raised in a species other than goat.
Polyclonal antibodies consist of a mixed pool of immunoglobulin molecules that bind to several different epitopes found on a single antigen . Polyclonals are usually produced in rabbits, donkeys, sheep, and goats, and are purified from serum. In contrast, monoclonal antibodies bind to a single epitope within a target antigen.
Bio-Rad's range includes thousands of high quality monoclonal and polyclonal primary antibodies for a variety of research areas including cancer, stem cells, neuroscience, veterinary research and innate immunity.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Bio-Rad offers custom antibody development services for monoclonal or polyclonal antibody generation, antibody production and modification services. Our monoclonal antibody generation service is suitable for any antibody requirement. Just complete the short inquiry form and one of our specialists will contact you to discuss your research needs.
For assistance with your experiments, visit our resources section for detailed protocols, tips, guides and educational articles.