Argonne National Laboratory Center for Nanoscale Materials U.S. Department of Energy

Designer Affinity Reagents

B. Kay

Single-chain variable fragments (scFv) can be displayed on the surface of the bacteriophage M13 and still function in selectively binding their antigens. Even though these antibody fragments are much smaller (25 vs. 150 kDa) than the intact molecules, they can bind their antigens with exquisite sensitivity and specificity. Libraries of scFv antibodies can be screened by affinity selection for binding to any type of target, such as a protein or an organic molecule. The resulting isolated antibodies can be used in a wide variety of applications (e.g., detectors, crystallization agents, and modifiers of target activity). In addition, such antibodies can be used as adapters that bridge inert materials in a defined manner, and thus may be excellent tools for building nanostructures.

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March 6, 2002

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