Unlike polyclonal antibody, monoclonal antibody recognize specific epitope on antigen surface. Traditional monoclonal antibodies are produced in mice or rats using hybridoma technology.
Advantages of Monoclonal Antibodies
- Homogeneity: Monoclonal antibody represents a single antibody molecule that binds to antigens with the same affinity and promote the same effector functions.
- Specificity: The product of a single hybridoma reacts with the same epitope on antigens.
- Immunizing Antigen: Need not be pure or characterized and is ultimately not needed to produce large quantities of antibody.
- Selection: It is possible to select for specific epitope specificities and generate antibodies against a wider range of antigenic determinants.
- Antibody Production: Unlimited quantities of a single well-defined monospecific reagent.
Disadvantages of Monoclonal Antibodies
- Affinity: Average affinity of monoclonal antibodies are generally lower than polyclonal antibodies.
- Effector Functions: Because antibody is monoclonal, it may not produce the desired biologic response.
- Specificity: Monoclonals against conformational epitopes on native proteins may lose reactivity with antigens that have been minimally perturbed.
- Crossreactions: Antibodies sometimes display unexpected crossreactions with unrelated antigens.
- Time and effort commitment: VERY LARGE