Mammals, including humans, produce five classes of endogenous antibodies during a pathogen attack to fight the invading pathogen and prevent disease. However, antibodies have multiple applications outside the body, including drug discovery and therapeutics, necessitating the development of recombinant antibody production.
Additionally, biotechnology advances allow researchers to develop unique antibodies that do not occur naturally, and you can click here to learn more about custom antibody production. Although customizable recombinant protein production processes are gaining popularity within medical fields and other industries, the industry has plenty more to offer. Before are little-known facts about custom recombinant antibody production.
Custom Antibody Companies Practice Species Specialty
Recombinant antibody production begins with gene antigen design to generate a target antigen that will trigger the desired immune response. Once the recombinant antigen is ready, the antibody production specialists immunize a select organism and harvest target antibodies from its serum.
The typical animals used in recombinant antibody production include rodents like mice and hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, sheep, goats, cows, chickens, llamas, and horses. However, each animal host has its advantages and disadvantages, depending on the antibody type and research scalability for your custom antibody project.
Other considerations when choosing an animal host include ease of blood serum retrieval, antibody affinity level, cost phylogenetic distance, and adaptability to lab conditions. Also, some animal hosts are better for generating polyclonal antibodies, while others are best for hybridoma technology and monoclonal antibody production.
Consequently, some custom antibody production services specialize in specific animal hosts to improve clonality and have multiple projects, including off-the-shelf antibodies that prove their work. Others focus on niche animal hosts like camelids (llamas and alpacas), known for producing nanobodies. Therefore, you can use species specialty as a valid basis for choosing a custom antibody production service provider.
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You Can Order Custom Antibody Fragments Rather Than Whole Antibodies
Advances in biotechnology allow recombinant antibody production companies to deliver custom antibody fragments rather than whole antibodies. Customizable antibody fragments include the fragment antigen-binding region (Fab) and a single-chain fragment variable (scFv), a peptide fusion of heavy-chain and light-chain immunoglobulins. Also, you can order a nanobody or single-domain antibody (sdAb) consisting purely of heavy-chain immunoglobulins.
Each antibody fragment has its advantages specific to select projects and applications. However, all the antibody fragments highlighted above have general advantages, including lowering the chances of immunogenicity (non-targeted immune responses triggered by the antigen) and non-specific binding. Also, custom antibody fragments generally improve downstream application results.
Custom antibody production companies typically use digestive enzymes like papain, pectin, and ficin to cleave the antibody fragments from whole antibodies. Besides research, custom antibody fragments have vital clinical and therapeutic applications.
The Customized Antigen Type Determines Its Primary Applications
As earlier stated, custom antibody production typically begins with antigen design to create antigen or antigen fragments that will trigger the desired effect. Most antigen production companies offer protein antigen and peptide antigen design and production services. However, the antigen type determines its ideal applications in research and industry settings.
Protein antigens feature the whole protein structure, including secondary and tertiary-level structures. Any purified protein requiring no protein carrier during immunization qualifies as a protein antigen.
The protein antigens are best suited for a broad antibody range production. Broad-range antibodies are ideal for detecting multiple epitopes (binding sites) in a biological sample containing a target protein.
On the other hand, peptide antigens only have the primary protein structure rather than the complete secondary and tertiary levels. Peptide antigens are epitope-specific and are best for antibody generation projects requiring specificity and control.
Also, peptide antigens are cheaper than protein antigens due to fewer production steps. Therefore, consult your service provider on the best antigen type to generate your targeted custom antibodies.
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The Antibody Production System Affects Custom Antibody Yield and Quality
Hybridoma technology generates monoclonal antibodies by growing the hybridoma cells in a cell-growth system. Different cell system infrastructures support unique cell growth conditions, affecting the custom antibody cell yield.
T-flask systems were the first hybridoma cell culture infrastructure; some custom antibody production companies still use them. The T-flask system has multiple advantages, including simplicity and cost-effectiveness. However, they limit hybridoma culture manipulation and the ability to control cell conditions, including oxygen, nutrient, and waste levels.
However, more companies are adopting T-flask system alternatives like bioreactors. Bioreactors have optimized cell culture conditions, facilitating optimum monoclonal antibody yield.
Various bioreactor types exist, including perfusion bioreactors, fiber bioreactors, and disposable bioreactors. Second, the bioreactors are available in different sizes, facilitating production scale-up capacity.
Custom Antibody Production Facilitates Antibody Optimization
Recombinant proteins generally have multiple advantages over native antibodies, including enhanced stability and longer shelf life. However, custom antibody production allows for further modification of the recombinant antibody to suit research project specifics. Moreover, custom antibody production facilitates the creation of novel antibodies that do not occur naturally.
Besides structural changes, custom antibody production facilitates antibody affinity and sensitivity optimization. Therefore, you can consult your service provider on the desired antibody specificity and affinity to suit your project or immunodetection method.
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Custom antibody production is at the biotechnology level, facilitating research that taps into the human genetic pool to generate novel therapeutic agents to preserve human health. Moreover, custom antibody production services are ubiquitous, offering different customization levels to suit unique projects. Therefore, understanding the intricacies of the custom antibody production process helps develop a production strategy and choose the best service provider to realize your vision.