When Vector Laboratories was founded more than 30 years ago, monoclonal antibodies, biotin-avidin products or lines of lectins were not available in the marketplace. In 1976, we purified the first line of lectins and quickly became the world’s leading supplier of these products for use in studying glycoconjugates in tissues, on cells, or isolated from fluids or extracts. In our second year we introduced the Biotin-Avidin System. Realizing that the strong interaction between biotin and avidin could be utilized to form nearly covalent linkages between a molecule derivatized with biotin and avidin conjugated with a detectable label, we provided the research community with the first set of Biotin-Avidin System reagents. These first products, consisting of biotinylated proteins and avidin conjugates, began a revolution in detection methods. Our biotinylated anti-mouse immunoglobulin and labeled avidin proved to be the most widely used reagents for detecting and characterizing monoclonal antibodies. After several years, other companies recognized their importance and began offering their own versions of these products. More than twenty years ago, we developed and patented processes that enabled complexes between avidin or streptavidin and biotinylated enzymes, designated ABC’s, to be formed. This achievement established the basis for the VECTASTAIN®ABC family of products. While other detection systems produced faint or diffuse staining in tissue sections and required high concentrations of primary antibodies, the VECTASTAIN®ABC system gave dark, discrete, background-free staining with extremely low concentrations of primary anti-bodies. Improvements over the years led to the VECTASTAIN®Elite ABC - widely recognized today as the most sensitive, reliable and economical peroxidase-based staining system available. After several years of development we introduced the ImmPRESS™ Reagents. These new reagents are not based on biotin/avidin technology but rely on a novel method of polymerizing peroxidase "micropolymers" directly to secondary antibodies.
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