Well characterized and validated antibodies are essential for all microarray-based methods. The data obtained depend mainly on the quality of the antibodies used. Current studies show that in some cases less than 20% of the used and commercially available antibodies can be used for assay development and meaningful (clinical) studies. Due to cross-reactivity with other targets, non-specific antibodies can misrepresent the amount of antigen (yes/no response), lead to false positive and negative classifications and influence the biological / medical statement of an experiment.
In general, each reagent (antigen and antibody) should be subjected to a thorough quality control prior to an experiment. This includes new batches and batches of reagents for new orders.
Here the department has acquired extensive expertise due to years of work in the development of assays in the (bio)analytical field. In addition to classical methods such as ELISA and Western blot analyses, antibodies can be characterised and kinetic data obtained using peptide microarrays. Especially in the development of diagnostic and (bio)analytical methods, the type of antibody characterization is crucial. For example, antibodies can specifically recognize their target in one assay, but show cross reactivities on another platform under different conditions. The existing knowledge about the transferability of results between different platforms and techniques is an important expertise of the department in this field.