Contributed By Sophie Bailey
Ever wonder how scientists and medical researchers go about finding and improving cures for serious diseases? They take a tip from the human immune system, and use “antibodies” (proteins secreted by white blood cells as part of the human immune system). Each different antibody is known to identify, attach itself to, and neutralize certain parts of different bacteria or viruses (known as “antigens”).
Scientists and researchers worldwide spend months and years of painstaking research, testing different combinations of antibodies and antigens in search for new and more effective methods of attacking know illnesses and diseases. Once enough knowledge is acquired, methods to treat those diseases can be developed. This happens in laboratories and research centers all over the world, be it in America, Europe or Asia. International collaborations in the fight against severe diseases like HIV or cancer have long been established and have led to huge progress in the fight against life-threatening diseases. With today’s knowledge, some of these diseases still cannot be cured but the lives of people who suffer from them can be prolonged to a great extent.
The importance of assay kits
Assay kits of different types, containing myriad varieties of antibodies or other substances, are tools that scientists use, which play a vital part in the research and development of cures and remedies for all kinds of illnesses. Pills, antibodies and other means of treatment are developed in laboratories where scientists and the most appropriate antibodies supplier conduct experiments with various liquids and the above-mentioned assay kits. Some of the most frequently used assay kits are the so-called ELISA kits. ELISA is an acronym for Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay, a frequently used method to detect a certain substance in a given liquid. Most of the time, this substance is an antigen, the protein part of a virus or a bacterium. Detecting the substance in the liquid works like this: An antibody is added to the liquid in question and an antigen-antibody reaction is forced to occur. Most of the time, the color of the liquid will change during this process. An ELISA assay kit can therefore be used to display the range of effects of a certain medicine on an antigen. For example, one can see if the drug destroys the antigen or not.
ELISA: an indispensable method
Offering fast and reliable methods of testing, ELISA assay kits are frequently used for the diagnosis of infections linked to a specific disease. Long-term studies of medical applications enable scientists to draw conclusions in regard to the potential influence a given treatment may have against the further development of certain illnesses. This painstaking research is especially important and challenging in the fight against severe diseases like cancer or HIV. The development of a remedy against the particular virus or bacterium that attacks and destroys the immune system’s control center would be an enormous achievement.