Antibodies against small molecule haptens enable robust and rapid detection, monitoring and quantification using assays such as ELISA or IHC/IF.
Small molecules are notoriously difficult to illicit an immune response against due to their small size. Small molecule immunogenicity can be improved with conjugation to a carrier protein; however, there can be challenges in conjugating the small molecule to a carrier protein and then generating the desired immune response specific to the small molecule and not the carrier protein or linker.
We recommend analyzing the immunogenic variables of the small molecule hapten and application of interest since each application presents antigens in a distinct way. These immunogenic variables include the chemical structure, conjugation method, cross-linking between the small molecule and protein carrier, the orientation of the hapten on the carrier protein, and linkers used. In addition, the antigen presentation should mimic the same orientation as the assay. We can design an immunization strategy to increase the immune response against the small molecule through adjuvants used, immunization methods, and immunization schedule.
Host Species and Antibody Technologies
Depending on the immunogenicity and desired application of the small molecule, we will develop personalized recommendations for host species and antibody technology. For example, we may recommend rabbits for host species to small molecules due to rabbits’ immune system generating a plethora of diverse antibodies. And if the desired application is for consistent antibody results with easy large scale production, recombinant monoclonal antibodies may be suggested.