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Convenient & accurate IHC with Optimer-Fc

Optimer-Fc integrates the benefits of Optimer binders with the Fc portion of an antibody to enhance the target range and selectivity of immunohistochemistry (IHC) reagent to advance analysis of disease biomarkers.

Optimer binders are oligonucleotide antibody alternatives that can be modified with various reporter groups for direct use in IHC or, as in the case of Optimer-Fc, with the Fc portion of an antibody to allow convenient integration into automated IHC workflows using secondary antibodies for signal amplification. In this article we explore why you might need Optimer-Fc and the benefits using Optimer-Fc reagents can bring to your IHC. You can see the performance of both Optimer and Optimer-Fc in IHC in our application note.

Do you need an Fc?

Some labs perform IHC using direct labelling, where Optimer binders are tagged directly with HRP or fluorescent groups for localisation. Here, the Optimer’s small size can support more accurate localisation, live cell tracking of target molecules, and super-resolution microscopy.

While direct labeling with Optimer binders is advantageous for certain applications, automated processes using primary and secondary antibodies dominate many labs, particularly in pathology and clinical diagnostics. Optimer-Fc is as a solution tailored for this need, enhancing target range and selectivity while ensuring compatibility with existing workflows.

Optimer-Fc replaces antibodies in IHC applications for secondary detection

Optimer-Fc is an Optimer binder, bringing the benefits of improved target range and selectivity, conjugated to the Fc portion of an antibody.

By leveraging Optimer-Fc, scientists can expand the scope of detectable targets in IHC, unlocking new avenues for biomarker analysis. Equally, current biomarker assays can be made more specific or more sensitive by swapping antibodies for Optimer-Fc.

Seek new targets or better performance with Optimer-Fc

The whole idea behind Optimer-Fc is to bring the advantages of target range and selectivity of Optimer binders to more IHC users and users of automated IHC workflows. In this application, Optimer-Fc simulates an antibody reagent but brings the performance characteristics of Optimer.

Optimer-Fc can expand this target range even further to allow new disease biomarkers to be analyzed. There is even the potential to develop Optimer binders for phenotypic targets, using screening of disease vs healthy cells to identify novel biomarkers for these diseases, where the Optimer binder can then be used in downstream IHC assays. So Optimer-Fc has the potential to broaden the range of available disease biomarkers that can be analyzed in IHC for more accurate disease biomarkers and biomarkers for new diseases.

Another impact of Optimer-Fc is to improve the accuracy of IHC. Potential cross-reactive targets can be incorporated into Optimer discovery processes to give increased target selectivity compared to traditional antibodies, with cross-reactive Optimer binders removed from the discovery process to ensure specificity. The use of Optimer over antibodies could thus reduce cross-reactivity in these assays and offer increased accuracy in biomarker ID and monitoring.

We can even run Optimer discovery processes using fixed or frozen, cells or tissues, to ensure that the binder recognises the right antigen in the final IHC application, a key stumbling block for many antibodies.

See the performance of Optimer-Fc in our application note.

Lots of our partners talk of a need for improved IHC reagents that can support better diagnostics and open up new research areas. The IHC space has long been waiting for a new technology to enable a broader range of biomarkers to be studied, with high accuracy. We are seeing great results from our partners using Optimer reagents in IHC and are working to transition these to the Optimer-Fc platform for simple integration into their current workflows.

Dr David Bunka, Chief Scientific Officer at Aptamer Group

Superior validation and IHC assay development

Following Optimer discovery and development, we run extensive quality checks, characterization and validation of our binders.

Optimer affinity and cross-reactivity is tested as standard, with further validation dependent upon the end use of the binder. For example, if our partner’s primary application is IHC, we will test the Optimer in this application. Additional checks include ensuring the Optimer binders are not degraded and cleaned up following synthesis. For Optimer-Fc, further checks are required to ensure that the Optimer still recognizes its target and is not cross-reactive once bound to the Fc portion, and that a secondary antibody can recognise Optimer-Fc. All of this can be done and initial protocols developed at Aptamer Group, making the transition to Optimer-Fc IHC easy as pie.

Download our application note showing Optimer and Optimer-Fc performance in IHC assays across FFPE and frozen tissues.

Download application note




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