Department of Mathematics

Neogen Corporation

Kinetic Immunoassay*

The typical antibody-antigen immunoassay technique uses a labeled antibody (e.g. radioactive iodine, fluorescent dye, etc.) to detect a specific antigen in an analyte (the material to be analyzed). The antigen to be analyzed is introduced into a solution of antibody specific to antigen. While the antibody-antigen reaction is very specific, reaction rates are typically low. Moreover, tradition immunoassay techniques require that the antibody-antigen reaction be allowed to proceed to equilibrium. The result is that typical laboratory immunoassay procedures are quite time consuming and hence not convenient for field studies or routine work.

Neogen manufactures test kits for field use that are applicable to the measurement of many chemicals; some of these kits are based upon antibody-antigen reactions. It is a priority in such immunoassays to shorten assay time to increase the assay throughput. One way to accomplish this objective is to measure data kinetically over
a short incubation period (using a non-equilibrium model) to speed the analysis. However, such methods are complicated by the need to have detailed knowledge of the antibody-antigen reaction kinetics. Thus, for a given antibody-antigen pair, a kinetic model is needed that accurately predicts the progress of the reaction with time.
The project objective is to find a suitable model for a given antibody-antigen pair.

Such a model may be based upon biophysical parameters of the antibody-antigen pair or they may be empirically based. The former has the advantage of being able to provide more detailed information about the antigen; however, at the cost of greater analysis complexity. On the other hand, an empirical model is simpler and easier to implement but suffers from the disadvantage of providing less information.
The project objective is to find a suitable kinetic model and quantify its accuracy.

The ideally completed project deliverable would be a suitable kinetic model, either empirical or biophysical, and a procedure for interpreting the reaction data to find the amount of antigen in the analyte.

*This summary was prepared by R.E. Svetic with the participation of P. S. Satoh and J.M. Madden of Neogen Corporation.


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