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Antibody valitation: Practical guide to finding and validating suitable antibodies for research

Introduction

The number of mAbs generated as research tools by both industry and the research community has increased exponentially. Although this wealth of reagents has exciting scientific potential, a substantial number of mAbs fail even the most fundamental tests of activity or specificity. Furthermore, many research laboratories are unaware of this problem or lack the skills to test these reagents themselves. The lack of technical standards for mAbs often makes their selection a hopeless endeavour wasting both time and valuable research funds. The use of poorly characterised reagents is also of major concern to the scientific community as perpetuation of serious scientific misconceptions inevitably compromises the advancement of science. Thus the economic costs of using poorly validated mAbs, both within Europe and worldwide, should not be underestimated.

To help address mAb unreliability, EuroMAbNet has published an article and created easily followed "Guidelines" that provide a set of criteria and recommendations that will help researchers to select the most effective mAbs from those available in the market and provide the strategic guidance needed to perform any essential antibody validation.

The guidelines below provide a stepwise scheme for navigating through this decision process: