Applications for Label-free Biomolecular Interaction Analysis
Label-free detection (also label-free (LF) technology, label-free analysis or label-free sensing) uses optics-based biosensors to convert biological binding responses into signals without using a fluorescent or any other detection label. This approach enables changes that occur upon analyte binding to a ligand immobilized on a biosensor surface to be monitored in real time without artificial manipulation of individual assay components.
A major advantage of label-free technology is that it allows the ligand to retain its native conformation and biological activity. This provides more physiologically relevant insights into the underlying biology than using a synthetically modified ligand.
Additionally, by avoiding the need for labeled detection reagents such as enzyme-conjugated antibodies or fluorescently-labeled proteins, label-free technology eliminates the risk of unwanted background signal that can arise when labels bind non-specifically to other bioassay components. This is especially beneficial when working with complex or unpurified sample material that contains numerous components besides the analyte of interest.
Label-free technology allows researchers to carry out analyses not possible using conventional methods that provide only end-point results. These include kinetic and affinity analysis and evaluation of binding specificity, which are enabled by the dynamic, real-time interaction analysis afforded by label-free monitoring.