Monoclonal antibodies vs Polyclonal antibodies
How to choose an antibody for your research? Monoclonal antibodies or polyconal antibodies, that is a problem. You need to consider their characteristics and your experiment requirements before making the decision.
The following are the advantages and disadvantages of monoclonal antibodies when they are compared with polyclonal antibodies.
- Monoclonal antibodies have a high degree of homogeneity from batch to batch, which means that if experimental conditions are kept constant, results from monoclonal antibodies can be very reproducible between experiments and batches.
- Monoclonal antibodies specifically detect a particular epitope on the antigen, and reduce probability of cross reactivity with other protein.
- Monoclonal antibodies are more suitable for experiments requiring quantification of the protein levels.
- Monoclonal antibodies production is significantly more expensive and requires more time to produce and develop the hybridized clone.
- Small changes in the epitope's structure often render the monoclonal antibody unable to detect the target protein and share across a range of species, limiting their flexibility.
- Monoclonal antibodies are more sensitive to changes in experimental conditions (ie pH and buffer composition) than polyclonal antibodies.
- Monoclonal antibodies are more vulnerable to the loss of epitope through chemical treatment of the antigen than polyclonal antibodies (this can be offset by pooling two or more monoclonal antibodies to the same antigen), - epitope changes can greatly impact binding.
- Cell culture and purification capabilities are required in the process of production.
- Monoclonal antibodies are less suitable for detecting denatured proteins than polyclonal antibodies or for use in assays that require antigen cross-linking.