Immunoassays into the 1990s
All immunoassays depend upon the reversible, non-covalent binding of the analyte (the antigen) by the binding sites of specific antibodies in a reaction which obeys the Law of Mass Action. The ideal immunoassay would involve only the addition of sample (preferably saliva or urine) to a single reagent with a visual end-point and would not require the routine use of standards. This is seldom achieved and the criteria which should be applied to immunoassays are that they should be sufficiently sensitive, specific and precise for the purposes to which they will be applied and that they should be simple, robust, rapid and inexpensive and require only widely available instrumentation.
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