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Can serum samples be run "neat" (without dilution) in the IL-4 Elisa - ab100770?
Asked on May 16 2013
The lab adviced the following:
While serum and plasma samples maybe run undiluted, we do not usually recommend doing so. The reason is not because Assay Diluent A needs to be present in every sample but that testing undiluted serum/plasma samples increases the risk of experiencing matrix effects.
Matrix effects occur when some component of the sample affects immunoreactivity of the target molecule, possibly by sequestering binding sites. Auto-antibodies, binding proteins, albumin, etc. may be possible culprits, but it’s hard to say for sure. The result is that the sample may read falsely high or low in the ELISA test, or may give a non-linear dilution response. Sometimes certain disease states contribute to matrix effects by altering the properties of the blood (highly lipemic samples, for instance); hemolysis may also cause similar problems. Matrix effects can be hard to predict and challenging to overcome.
For this reason, we rarely recommend running plasma or serum samples undiluted, as matrix effects are more likely to occur. The lowest dilution factor we normally recommend starting with is 2-fold, even for the low-abundance cytokines. If the customer is concerned that their sample levels will be below detection, keep in mind the optional overnight standard/sample incubation can be performed to try and maximize the absorbances. If that doesn’t work, the customer may want to consider concentrating their samples or switching sample types (for example plasma) to see if that helps.
Answered on May 16 2013