Immunological Techniques in Biochemical Investigation

  • J. S. Woodhead
  • R. J. Thompson


While the mechanism of antibody production in response to antigenic challenge is poorly understood, the opposite is true of reactions between antigen and antibody. This is not surprising, since these reactions can be studied both in vivo and in vitro in a range of model systems. The understanding of these processes has proved of enormous benefit to the biochemist during recent years, and a wide range of immunological techniques for both the qualitative and quantitative estimation of antigens and antibodies have been developed. The usefulness of antibodies for the detection of biologically important molecules derives from two fundamental properties. First, their remarkable specificity for antigen can make possible the identification and quantitation of molecules in complex biological media such as plasma even in the presence of structurally related molecules. Second, the energy of reaction between antigen and antibody is frequently extremely high, thus allowing the reaction to be monitored at very low concentrations provided a suitable method of detection is used.


Biochemical Investigation Immunoradiometric Assay Antigen Concentration Immunological Technique Double Immunodiffusion 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. S. Woodhead
    • 1
  • R. J. Thompson
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Medical BiochemistryWelsh National School of MedicineCardiffWales
  2. 2.Department of Clinical BiochemistryUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeEngland

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