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Antibody Engineering for Biosensor Applications

  • Neal A. E. Hopkins
Chapter

Abstract

Antibodies are a well-established class of affinity reagents used extensively in detection and diagnostic applications. However, while these proteins have been developed to provide considerable functionality in conventional applications (e.g. sandwich ELISA), their exploitation in emergent biosensor technologies requires careful consideration.

Historically, diagnostic technologies have been the primary consumer of antibody products. As a result, antibody development has been skewed toward satisfying the requirements of conventional diagnostic assay formats (ostensibly sandwich assays). The resulting catalogue of antibody products provides a convenient resource for potential biosensor exploitation. However, when applied outside of their traditional context (on novel surface/transducer interfaces) they can behave unpredictably and undesirably (e.g. loss of activity or specificity).

The surface immobilisation of a recognition element within a biosensor is an invariant feature of biosensor assay design. The resulting interface represents a complex system composed of interdependent technical challenges affecting assay stability, specificity, and sensitivity. It is likely that a holistic approach to interface development is required as the development of individual interface components is unlikely to deliver the technical advances required for the practical exploitation/commercialization of biosensor technologies.

The use of antibodies in biosensor applications requires a detailed understanding of their inherent properties and the interface to which they are to be tethered. This chapter illustrates the core properties of antibody structure and function and their significance in biosensing applications. The different classes of antibody reagents available to biosensor developers are discussed with a focus on recombinant antibody technologies. The opportunities available in biosensor development, regarding assay and interface design, are briefly considered. Finally, strategies for the bespoke engineering and application of antibodies in biosensor technologies are discussed in detail.

Keywords

Antibody engineering Biosensor interface Stability Affinity Specificity Sensitivity Immobilisation Monoclonal Polyclonal Recombinant antibody Domain antibody 

Abbreviations

ELISA

Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay

Ig

Immunoglobulin

IgG

Immunoglobulin gamma

CDR

Complementarity determining region

hCG

Human chorionic gonadotropin

PCR

Polymerase chain reaction

PDB

Protein databank

DARPin

Designed ankyrin repeat proteins

PSA

Prostate specific antigen

PSMA

Prostate specific membrane antigen

SPR

Surface Plasmon resonance

AFM

Atomic force microscopy

QCM-D

Quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation

PEG

Polyethylene glycol (identical to PEO)

PEO

Polyethylene oxide (identical to PEG)

NSB

Non-specific binding

MA

Methacrylate

NHS

N-hydroxysuccinimide

2-MEA

2-mercaptoethylamine

tRNA

Transfer ribonucleic acid

DNA

Deoxyribonucleic acid

mRNA

Messenger ribonucleic acid

HRP

Horseradish peroxidase

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Detection DepartmentDefence Science and Technology LaboratoryPorton DownUK

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