Novel Less Expensive & More Sensitive Immunoassay Technique

Antonio Garcia (Inventor)

Research output: Patent


Since the late 1950s, when the work of Rosalyn Yalow and Solomon Berson first illuminated the possibilities of immunoassays, immunodiagnostic techniques based on the specific interaction of antibody and antigen have become of paramount importance in the clinical, agricultural, food, veterinary, and environmental sectors. In 1996, it was estimated that the worldwide market of immunoassay products was $10 billion in the clinical sector alone. This market is driven by an ever increasing desire for assays of greater sensitivity and specificity at reasonable costs. It is in these applications that the specific and irreversible interaction between avidin or streptavidin and biotin has found use. The streptavidin-biotin system has become a widely used tool of molecular biology in such applications as affinity chromatography, cytometry, nucleic acid research, and diagnostics. While streptavidin systems allow for universal ELISA kits and can improve assay sensitivity, coated plates can be costly. Researchers at Arizona State University have found that immobilized silver ions will bind certain compounds both strongly and, in this case, reversibly. Additionally, this new system shows great promise as a basis for an amplified assay which may approach or exceed known detection limits.Another attractive feature of this new immunoassay system is cost. As noted previously, streptavidin-coated plates are expensive enough to represent the majority of the cost of an immunoassay. Such plates often cost nearly $25 each. Using this new method, the plates would cost less than $8 each. With this cost advantage and the likelihood that these plates can form the basis of a highly sensitive immunoassay system, this is likely to be a promising new technology which should prove adaptable for use in the lab as a basis for an immunoassays, in a universal kit format, and in automated systems.
Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Sep 2 1998


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