The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) is a commonly used analytical biochemistry assay, first described by Engvall and Perlmann in 1971.The assay uses a solid-phase enzyme immunoassay (EIA) to detect the presence of a ligand (commonly a protein) in a liquid sample using antibodies directed against the protein to be measured. ELISA has been used as a diagnostic tool in medicine, plant pathology, and biotechnology, as well as a quality control check in various industries.
In the most simple form of an ELISA, antigens from the sample are attached to a surface. Then, a matching antibody is applied over the surface so it can bind to the antigen. This antibody is linked to an enzyme, and in the final step, a substance containing the enzyme’s substrate is added. The subsequent reaction produces a detectable signal, most commonly a color change.