There are variations of the ELISA test, but the most basic type consists of an antibody attached to a solid surface. This antibody has affinity for (will latch on to) the substance of interest, for example, human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), the commonly measured protein that indicates pregnancy. A mixture of purified HCG linked (coupled) to an enzyme and the test sample (blood, urine, etc.) are added to the test system. If no HCG is present in the test sample, then only HCG with linked enzyme will bind. The more HCG which is present in the test sample, the less enzyme-linked HCG will bind. The substance the enzyme acts on is then added, and the amount of product measured in some way, such as a change in color of the solution.
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Archived: March 20, 2014
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