For the best experience on the Abcam website please upgrade to a modern browser such as Google Chrome
Take a look at our BETA site and see what we’ve done so far.
Search and browse selected products
Purchase these through your usual distributor
Key differences between polyclonal, monoclonal and recombinant antibodies.
Polyclonal antibodies are a heterogeneous mix of antibodies, derived from the immune response of multiple B-cells, and each one recognizes a different epitope on the same antigen.
Because polyclonal antibodies are composed of a mixture of antibodies that represents the natural immune response to an antigen, they are prone to a higher risk of batch-to-batch variability than monoclonal antibodies.
Monoclonal antibodies come from a single B-cell parent clone and therefore only recognize a single epitope per antigen. These B-cells are immortalized by fusion with hybridoma cells, allowing for long-term generation of identical monoclonal antibodies.
Because monoclonal antibodies specifically detect a particular epitope on the antigen, they are less likely than polyclonal antibodies to cross-react with other proteins.
Recombinant monoclonal antibodies are developed in vitro using synthetic genes. The encoding sequences can be carefully controlled, allowing for optimized binding and improved reproducibility over monoclonal antibodies produced from hybridoma.