Ranked of least importance was the ability to miniaturise format (Figure 8).
Of some new, emerging or alternative technologies or approaches, respondents were most aware of (including already investigated/implemented) Luminex microparticle-based flow tests for multiplexed assays.
Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) have been around as one of the primary methods of analyte detection for more than four decades.
Over the years many changes to the basic format have resulted in assay improvements, but some of the most recent look set to take the traditional ELISA to new levels.
This review article uses as its starting point some of the findings of HTStec’s ELISA Assay Trends 2012 survey and report, published in June 2012 (1).
This report discusses end-users’ current practices and preferences in ELISA assays, and seeks to understand future user requirements.ELISA has gained widespread acceptance across a very diverse range of fields (eg diagnosis of infectious diseases, food allergen detection, plant pathogens to biomarkers), but it never achieved significant adoption by early drug discovery labs.This initially reflected the fact that plate washing was perceived to be difficult to automate, and subsequently the industry’s preference for homogenous screening methods, that could be miniaturised.Among those responding no interest was found for blood banking, stem cells, environmental or quality control as the main (primary) applications of ELISA assays (Figure 1).Of the sample source analysed by ELISA most respondents (67%) were analysing serum.The main (primary) application area for survey respondents’ ELISA assays was immunology (17% selecting).This was followed by cancer (12% selecting); infectious diseases (11% selecting) and then inflammation (9% selecting).The next most used format was 96-well strips with 39% of respondents using.This was distantly followed by 5% using 384-well regular volume plates, and only 3% using either 96-well microfluidic channel plates or 384-well low volume plates (Figure 6).The majority (57%) of survey respondents do not see the need for commercially available ELISA kits to be miniaturised, indicating that the standard volume 96-well format meets their current needs.Of those seeking miniaturisation, a standard volume 384-well format (14% wanting) or a microchannel 96-well format (eg Siloam Biosciences Optimiser plates) were preferred (12% wanting) (Figure 7).