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What Makes Good Commercial Antibodies

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With the increasing market demand of antibodies and largely commercial availability, quality control is drawing extensive attentions. On one hand, investigators must be aware of potential pitfalls and the specificity of each antibody. On another hand, commercial companies should provide the necessary information about the antigen and antibody to investigators, including references. 

For monoclonal antibodies, companies can help out a great deal by providing references that show a clear antibody characterization. Most companies do not make their own antibodies but license them from researchers. With monoclonal antibodies defined in a clear way, this should provide a high degree of confidence to the user. Polyclonal antibodies, by their very nature, cannot be handled in the same way. Every new batch should be quality controlled, but in the real world this does not happen. I would suggest, however, that these companies be open minded to problems.

The product manuscript should clearly state the source, product, lot numbers, and the methods of characterization for each antibody.

Companies should pay attention to after-sales troubleshooting.

Of course, the focus should be put on the commercial companies, such as their professional expertise, industry experience, minds and innovations, production hardware, company convictions etc.