Monoclonal Antibodies

NKMAX produces more than 400 monoclonal antibodies. As with all other products provided on NKMAX’s website, all monoclonal antibodies are produced in-house.


A variety of applications can be done with the monoclonal antibody that is produced with the antigen using NKMAX's recombinant protein


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A Primer on Antibodies

Antibodies are proteins produced by B lymphocytes in response to foreign proteins or molecules called antigens. Antibodies function as markers by binding to an antigen so that the antigen or foreign molecules can be recognized and destroyed by phagocytes. Phagocytes are a type of immune cell that protect the body by ingesting (phagocytosing) harmful foreign particles, bacteria, and dead or dying cells.

The part of the antigen that the antibody binds to is called the epitope. The epitope is thus a short amino acid sequence that the antibody is able to recognize (Campbell NA, 1996). In a living system, different antibodies that bind to several epitopes of a single antigen can be created. This is the definition of a polyclonal antibody: several clones that produce antibodies against the same antigen but for different epitopes.

Structurally antibodies are proteins consisting of four polypeptide chains. These four chains form a quaternary structure somewhat resembling a Y shape.

Antibodies are produced by B Cells. Each B cell in an organism synthesizes only one kind of antibody. An organism contains a diverse population of B cells in which each cell produces a specific antibody that targets an antigen to which the immune system has been exposed.


How Monoclonal Antibodies are Produced

A monoclonal antibody is produced by culturing a population of B cells derived from a single ancestral B cell, so that this population of B cells would allow us to harvest a single kind of antibody. This population of cells would be correctly described as monoclonal, and the antibodies produced by this population of B cells are called monoclonal antibodies.

The first step to producing a monoclonal antibody is by generating antibody producing B cells. Immunization is accomplished by injecting an antigen of interest into a mouse over a period of time and tested through bleedings until the antibody of interest is produced. When the host produces the desired antibody, the spleen is removed and placed in medium to release resident B cells. The medium also includes a myeloma cells (tumor) that can divide indefinitely. Polyethylene glycol (PEG) is added to fuse the B Cells to the myeloma cells which become hybridoma cell. The fused cells are separated from those that did no fuse using a special medium called HAT. The surviving fused cells are individually cultured and once growing cell can be seen after a few weeks, the antibodies are screened. The best clones are kept and grown in mass culture for storage.