An immunoglobulin is an antibody that is used by the human immune system to seek out foreign bodies such as bacteria and viruses. It can recognise this target body from a part of the bacteria or virus that is called an antigen. Every antigen has a unique binding pattern that works in a similar fashion to a lock and key. The immunoglobulin looks for this pattern and then places a marker on the bacteria or virus so that other bodies in the immune system will know that this “threat” must be attacked and neutralised. The immunoglobulin thus acts like a scout that tries to find any foreign substances that need to be isolated before they can spread and become a human infection or disease.
So, where do gold conjugates come in?
Gold conjugates can be used to test for the presence, absence, or concentrations of various immunoglobulins. Colloidal gold itself is used as a reagent in the development and manufacture of tests which detect immunoglobulins for disease and immunological research. This “assay” works due to the unique binding properties of gold to various proteins. Gold particles can be manufactured in different sizes, which can affect the range and binding characteristics of the assay and ultimately what the gold conjugate formula can be used to detect.
Labs depend on the ability to generate results that maintain the highest degree of precision and accuracy. They cannot do this without quality reagents and standards. This is why the production of high quality and reliable gold conjugates is one of the most important tools in human immunological research.
Okay, what makes a quality gold conjugate formula?
Like any other reagent used in highly sensitive quantitative tests, gold conjugates must have many different properties. The first and foremost of these is that they must offer the appropriate sensitivity for the requirements of the test. They must also be consistent, with little variation in size and shape. It’s also best if they are round, rather than uneven in shape to provide the best possible binding capabilities. In fact, all gold conjugates for a certain test range must be accurate to a high degree.
The final characteristic is that ought to be stable and have a long shelf life. You have to be certain that your gold conjugates will remain accurate for as long as possible. Thankfully, the relative low reactivity of gold makes it the perfect test reagent. It’s the stability in other components of the colloidal suspension that is crucial to achieving consistency and stability of the conjugate. It is also important that analytical drift is minimized and prolonged for as long as possible when manufacturing analytical gold conjugates. Careful control in the formulation process is the key to ultimately achieving analytic stability of the reagents.
How can you ensure accuracy?
The accuracy of analytical tests is highly dependent on the reliability and stability of the reagents that are used. Gold conjugates that consistently can yield excellent repeatability with standard sample tests not only provide the researcher, but the researcher’s client with confidence in the results that are obtained throughout the entirety of the sample batch. Low tolerances and high precision are key to producing results that increase confidence.