Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Optimised Antibodies for Today’s Research and Clinical IHC Laboratory

Nordic Biosite provides high quality, carefully optimised antibodies for IHC to detect clinically and diagnostically important markers. 
Research frequently necessitates a range of antibodies tailored to the specific needs of each individual project. As such, there is no one specific protocol for IHC that can be used regularly. From a clinical perspective, antibodies must be:
- Specific with a high affinity towards their epitopes,
- Flexible to use, 
- Consistent between lots
- Reliable. 

Optibody antibodies from Nordic Biosite are carefully optimised for the needs of today‘s research and clinical IHC laboratory. 

Antibody optimisation refers to a range of tests that antibodies are put through in order to find their optimal staining conditions. Each antigen has a preferred method of antigen retrieval such as Heat Induced Epitope Retrieval (HIER) using acidic Citrate or TRIS-EDTA base buffers, as well as an enzymatic retrieval process. However the majority of antigens need an alkaline pre-treatment method for optimal staining pattern. Each antibody has an optimal concentration for use, depending upon the affinity of paratope and epitope as well as expression level of the antigen. Antibodies optimised with tissues that express high levels of antigen expression may prove inadequate when staining tissues with low antigen expression. It is thus necessary to optimise an antibody for a variety of tissue types to show applicability of Optibody.

Click here to view our Optibodies range and here to view the Optibodies brochure. 

How antibodies are optimized into Optibodies

Teppo Haapaniemi is the corresponding scientist  involved with optimisation on a daily basis.

“The main point when optimising an antibody is selecting the correct tissues, which are appropriately fixed and processed, and of course, selecting the correct primary antibody”, says Haapaniemi.
“Tissues should express antigens in a variety of patterns. Tissues that express low levels of antigen are also necessary in the process, because they offer important information about antibody sensitivity, specificity and signal to noise ratio”, he explains.

Optimisation of antibodies should always be performed with more than one antibody against the same tissue antigen to get results for comparison. Different pre-treatment methods are important to test as well as fine tuning of the antibody concentration and incubation times. This also helps avoiding one of the biggest challenges with this method, which is intra- and inter laboratory variation of the staining result.

Optibodies™ are carefully optimised and fine-tuned for the needs of today`s clinical IHC laboratory. They are also tested and optimised using NordiQC recommendations of control tissues as well as staining criteria.

“From a clinical perspective, antibodies must be specific with a high affinity towards their epitopes. Of course, they also have to be flexible and reliable to use, and have a good Lot-to-Lot-consistency. These are all our goals during the whole process of producing Optibodies™”, Haapaniemi says.

“Our team performs antibody optimization based on extensive experience in the field. We offer not only optimisation for antibodies against human soft and hard tissues, but also rodents, xenograft tissues and other animal origins. Our goal is to be reliable and effective, but also flexible according to client`s needs.

Caltag Medsystems are the exclusive UK distributor for Nordic Biosite. For further information about their products, please visit our website,, call +44 (0)1280 827460 or email

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