Immunomicrospheres: reagents for cell labeling and separation

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Science  25 Apr 1980:
Vol. 208, Issue 4442, pp. 364-368
DOI: 10.1126/science.6768131


Immunomicrospheres are specially designed microscopic particles that have antibodies or similar molecules chemically bound to their surfaces. The antibody-coated microspheres react in a highly specific way with target cells, viruses, or other antigenic agents. Immunomicropheres may be synthesized so that they incorporate compounds that are highly radioactive, intensely fluorescent, magnetic, electron opaque, highly colored, or pharmacologically active. These various types of microspheres may be coated with pure, highly specific monoclonal antibodies obtained by the new hybridoma cell cloning techniques or with conventional antibody preparations. Some of the many present and potential applications for these new reagents are (i) new types of radioimmune or immunofluorescent assays, (ii) improved fluorescence microscopy, (iii) separation of cells on the basis of the fluorescent, electrophoretic, or magnetic properties of bound immunomicrospheres, (iv) markers for use in several types of electron or standard light microscopy, and (v) delivery of lethal compounds to specific undesirable living cells. The combination of the various new types of synthetic microspheres and the newly available homogeneous antibodies offers new opportunities in research, diagnosis, and therapy.