Technical FAQs for antibodies
Find out how to use, store and order your antibodies, and see the answers to some common antibody related questions below:
Using your antibody safely
What are your antibodies used for? Who should use them?
We also supply you with SDS’s (safety datasheets) with all of our products and useful protocols and guides. These provide you with advice on how to safely handle your antibodies. It is your responsibility to ensure that all relevant safety precautions are taken at all times, as due to the nature of our products the potential hazards are not always known.
Quality and guarantee
How do you ensure the quality of your ValidAb™ antibodies?
All of our ValidAb antibodies go through an intensive seven stage in-house QC process to prove that they work in the applications and species specified on the datasheet. Please see our Antibody Validation & Quality Policy for more details.
Do you quality control individual lots?
We quality control individual lots where we have reason to believe that changes between lots are possible. For example many of our antibodies are produced via cell culture techniques where quality is much more stable than polyclonal antibodies where batch to batch variability can be high.
What guarantee do you give that my antibody will perform as expected?
We guarantee that your antibody will work for the applications and species we list on the datasheet. If the antibody fails to perform as expected then we are happy to offer a 100% refund guarantee. For more details please see our Quality Guarantee and Returns & Refunds policy.
Will my antibody cross-react with other isoforms of the target protein?
Where possible, every antibody has a full bio-informatic analysis shown in the datasheet predicting cross-reactivities. We will detail where we have experimentally assessed for specific cross-reactivities and all western blot experiments are shown with the full blot to enable easy identification of cross-reactive bands. However we are not able to guarantee that the antibody will not cross-react to proteins at a similar molecular weight to the target where we have not specifically tested for this.
Is your data available for review by researchers?
All of our data is available open access at our Open Science Framework library.
Can I buy a trial sized antibody?
Yes! We offer all antibodies in both 25µg trial size and 100µg full size packs. You can view the full antibody range here
Can you make custom formulations for us?
Please get in touch with us to discuss your requirements at firstname.lastname@example.org
Can I buy larger quantities than listed on the website?
Yes! Please get in touch with us at email@example.com
Could you develop an antibody for me?
Sorry, at the current time this isn’t something that we are able to offer. However please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org to suggest a new product and if we produce it then we are happy to offer a free trial to say thank you.
Shipping and storage
Why do Hello Bio antibodies ship at room temperature in a lyophilised format?
Shipping antibodies at room temperature reduces the environmental impact of delivery as opposed to using dry or wet ice while also meaning that the quality of antibodies is less impacted by shipping delays. We have shown for every antibody that this leads to equivalent performance to shipment at 4ºC.
How should I store my antibody?
When you receive your antibody you have a few options to consider: storage at 4ºC, -20ºC or -80ºC depending upon your needs. Please see our guide How to Store & Handle Antibodies for details.
What is the use by date on my antibody?
We do not provide use by dates for our antibodies as this depends upon storage conditions by the user. An antibody may typically have a short shelf life if stored in the fridge, or last almost indefinitely if stored at -80oC. Please see our guide How to Store & Handle Antibodies for reasonable shelf-life expectations in different storage conditions.
How long will it take for me to receive my antibody?
We dispatch all orders between 1 and 3 working days with transit taking around 24hrs for orders from the EU, 4hrs for orders from the UK or USA and 2-3 days for Asia, Middle East and the Rest of the World. Please see our Delivery page for more information regarding charges.
Will my antibody work against species that have not been listed on the datasheet?
A species not being listed doesn’t mean that the antibody won’t work, just that we haven’t tested it. If you test one of our antibodies in a new species and you pass on the data (positive or negative) we are happy to offer a 50% discount on your next order to say thank you.
What protocol should I use with my antibody?
All of our antibodies have been validated using our in-house protocols. We recommend that you follow these for best results but you can feel free to use your own lab’s protocol if you would prefer. Please be aware however that minor differences in protocol can cause large changes in the results of an immunochemistry experiment if using a different protocol. Please see our library of protocols for more details.
Will my antibody work in an application that has not been listed on the datasheet?
An application not being listed doesn’t mean that the antibody won’t work, just that we haven’t tested it. If you test one of our antibodies in a new application and you pass on the data (positive or negative) we are happy to offer a 50% discount on your next order to say thank you! Please contact email@example.com for details.
If any antibody is validated for ICC will it work for IHC and vice versa?
We test our antibodies using a mixture of ICC and IHC experiments depending upon experimental needs. Due to the extremely similar processing steps and epitope presentation between techniques we are confident that any antibody working in IHC will work in ICC and vice versa.
Can I use my antibody for diagnostic or medical purposes?
Hello Bio antibodies are strictly for laboratory research and development use only. They are not supplied for pharmaceutical, veterinary, agricultural, household, food, cosmetic or any other use.
Can I re-use my antibody?
We do not recommend re-using antibodies between experiments. There is a great deal of variability in how well different antibodies tolerate being re-used and this isn’t something we currently test for. We do not therefore recommend risking your experiments with a re-used antibody as a degraded antibody can have altered specificity and binding kinetics.
Why don’t polyclonal antibodies show an isotype?
As polyclonal antibodies are purified from serum they are a mixture of isotypes although most will be IgG.
What is the difference between Protein A/G and immunogen affinity purification?
Some of our antibodies are purified via Protein A/G whereas others are purified using the original immunogen used to raise the antibody. Protein A/G bind selectively to any antibody therefore are a good choice when purifying monoclonal antibodies when you know that only the desired antibody is present. For polyclonal antibodies where the serum will contain a mixture of desired and off-target antibodies it is better to purify using the original immunogen so that you know that only antibodies binding the target are allowed into the final product.
How do you assess target and species homology?
Why do only some antibodies have epitope data?
We are not able to determine the epitope for some antibodies for a few reasons. Polyclonal antibodies will never have an epitope listed as they are assumed to be a mixture of antibodies binding to different epitopes on the target. For some monoclonal antibodies we have not yet been able to determine the epitope yet, where this information is determined we will update the datasheet.
What does the Kd of an antibody refer to?
For some antibodies we list a Kd value. This refers to the equilibrium dissociation constant of the antibody which is a measure of the antibody’s affinity. A lower value indicates a higher affinity.
Why do your antibodies contain sodium azide and rBSA?
We include sodium azide as a preservative to prevent bacterial contamination while recombinant BSA is used as a stabiliser to help the antibody maintain its structure during the lyophilisation and shipping process.
What blocking solution should I use with my antibody?
Depending on the antibody target different blocking solutions will be the most appropriate. Please see our advice on advice on choosing a blocking solution for your experiment.
How do I choose a compatible secondary antibody?
The most important consideration is that the secondary antibody specifically binds to the species that your primary antibody is raised in. The second consideration is which detection system you plan to use. Please see our guide How to Choose a Secondary Antibody for your experiment.
How do I choose an isotype control for my antibody?
Make sure that your isotype control is from the same antibody subclass as your primary antibody. Please see our guide How to Choose an Isotype Control.
What concentration should I use my antibody at?
All of our antibodies have a suggested concentration listed for each application. However we suggest that you use this as a starting point and optimise for each experiment as the antibody dilution needed can vary massively between experiments due to factors such as differences in protein expression, protein degradation, extraction efficiency and epitope presentation amongst many others.
How do you make sure that your antibody is produced in an ethical manner?
While many of our antibodies are produced in animal-free systems some are still produced in animals. We have a robust Ethical Policy which we use to vet all of our partners to make sure they comply with standards at least equal to those legally enforced in the UK, often described as the strictest in the world.
I have a question which is not listed here
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org where we will be happy to help with any questions.