Learn About Immunohistochemistry
Immunohistochemistry is an advanced form of histopathology. Normally, you would not find immunohistochemistry being used initially in testing. It is used when regular histological testing fails to form a diagnosis. Immunohistochemistry labels proteins using primary antibodies, and then it uses a secondary antibody to bind the primary one. Immunohistochemistry, commonly referred to as IHC has become a commonly used method in both diagnostic and investigative research. It has more so become important in studies that use antigen-antibody reactions with the aim of identifying antigens in the tissues. While antigens are usually proteins, other antigenic biological products can also be recognized by antibodies, including carbohydrates, nucleic acids, lips and many more. The use of IHC in the identification of antigens provides vital information that would not otherwise be gotten through regular hematoxylin and eosin stained sections. IHC has primarily been used to identify specific cells so as to characterize neoplasms for the purpose of diagnoses. Though IHC is still used for this purpose, its uses have grown to include the identification and localization of proteins that have been expressed differently, as well as biomarkers that are within the normal as well as diseased tissues. IHC has also proven vital in the process of identifying organisms that could be causing infections within tissues.
Immunohistochemistry follows a series of steps. Here, we will be looking at them. Firstly, the IHC stains are fixed, Formalin is used in this. Then, the tissue is embedded, usually in paraffin. The next step is the sectioning of the tissues, after which they are retrieved, mostly using proteolyc enzymes or even heat. What follows this is the mounting and dehydration process, after which the IHC slides are cleared for observation.
You may be wondering why you should use IHC if you have other options in the market. Well, the benefits of immunohistochemistry are far greater than you would imagine. The first benefit of using IHC slides is that they are relatively low. If you are, therefore, looking for a way to cut on your research expenses, you should consider switching to immunohistochemistry slides. The second benefit of immunohistochemistry slides is that they are readily available. A lot of well-established firms today offer these slides. The fact that a lot of companies today are offering these slides is one of the reasons why they are affordable. Most companies seek to gain competitive advantage by offering their products at lower prices than their competitors. The third benefit of immunohistochemistry is that it has a fast turnaround time. If you are looking for a study that will give you fast results, then you should look no further than IHC. When compared to several other studies, immunohistochemistry is relatively safer. This is because it does not use live infectious agents, like is the case with several other studies. Its risk to human wellbeing, is therefore, minimal if not zero. Another benefit of immunohistochemistry slides is that one can use either frozen or fresh tissues with them. The results will not be any different if they are from the same sample either way.