Well-characterized and validated antibodies are essential for any microarray-based method. The data that is obtained depends largely on the quality of the antibodies used. Recent studies have shown that in some cases less than 20% of commercially available antibodies can be used for assay development and (clinical) studies that yield any meaningful results. Due to the cross-reactivity with other targets, nonspecific antibodies can result in the incorrect quantity of antigens (yes/no response), false positive and negative classifications, as well as affect the biological/medical conclusion reached in an experiment.
In general, each reagent (antigen and antibody) should undergo rigid quality control before an experiment. This includes new batches of reagents for new orders as well.
The department has acquired extensive expertise in this area thanks to its many years of work developing assays for (bio)analytical purposes. In addition to conventional methods, such as ELISA and western blot analyses, peptide microarrays can be used to characterize antibodies and collect kinetic data. The type of antibody characterization is critical, particularly when developing diagnostic and (bio)analytical methods. For example, antibodies might specifically detect their target in one assay, but exhibit cross-reactivity on a different platform under different conditions. The existing knowledge on the reproducibility of results with different platforms and technologies is one of the department’s main areas of expertise in this field.