Issue Date: November 10, 2008
Thoroughly Analyzing Antibody Responses
By adapting tools for printing protein microarrays, researchers have developed an assay that singles out and comprehensively characterizes antibody-producing cells that contribute to an immune response (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0805470105). The approach could help advance clinical research on infectious and autoimmune diseases and facilitate the design of vaccines. Established immunoassays either obscure the contributions of individual immune system cells in the overall immunological response or are not capable of screening many cell and antibody characteristics at once. A multi-institution team led by Massachusetts Institute of Technology chemical engineer J. Christopher Love has designed an assay that can do both. In the technique, individual immune cells are first segregated into an array of subnanoliter-sized wells. A glass slide placed in contact with the wells then picks up antibodies secreted by each cell. Analysis of the resulting array provides detailed quantitative profiles of the antibodies, which can be correlated to the individual immune cells. The team successfully used the assay to track antibody responses of mice after they received an immunization.
- Chemical & Engineering News
- ISSN 0009-2347
- Copyright © American Chemical Society