Immunohistochemistry Resource Guide

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Polymer-Based Detection

Non-biotin micropolymer-based detection for greater signal, low background, and superior access to epitopes

Polymer-based reagents are a more recent introduction into IHC detection methodology than traditional avidin and biotin conjugates, such as ABC kit formats. IHC polymer detection systems offer distinct advantages over these traditional methods particularly for applications such as multiple antigen labeling (multiplexing) on the same tissue section, or in instances where detectable levels of endogenous biotin may be problematic.

IHC polymer detection systems essentially consist of an integrated polymer of active enzyme and secondary antibody that binds to a primary antibody target. This integrated format introduces significantly more enzyme at the site of localization, thereby generating a greater reaction with the subsequent chromogen, compared with a secondary antibody directly conjugated with enzyme. Additionally, use of a one-step polymer method shortens the IHC procedure by avoiding the two-step biotinylated secondary antibody and ABC reagent that are required for standard avidin-biotin systems.

IHC polymer detection systems were initially introduced consisting of dextran or similar molecules that had inherent issues in some tissues due to their large size. Our ImmPRESS® polymer systems have been highly refined and consist of micropolymers that penetrate more easily into thicker sections, avoid steric hindrance concerns, and provide defined, specific binding to the primary antibody.


Small Bowel: • Ki67 (rp), ImmPRESS Reagent (HRP; Universal), Vector® NovaRED® (red) • Cytokeratin 8/18 (m), ImmPRESS Reagent (HRP; Universal), Vector SG (blue-gray).


Breast Carcinoma: • Estrogen Receptor (m), ImmPRESS Reagent (HRP; Universal), Vector DAB (brown) • Cytokeratin AE1/AE3 (m), VECTASTAIN ABC-AP Kit (Universal), Vector Red (magenta).


Breast Carcinoma: • Estrogen Receptor (m), ImmPRESS Reagent (HRP; Universal), Vector NovaRED HRP Substrate (red) • CD34 (m), ImmPRESS Reagent (HRP; Universal), Vector DAB+Ni HRP Substrate (gray-black).


Small Bowel: • Neurofilament 200 kDa (m), ImmPRESS Reagent (HRP) Anti-Mouse IgG, Vector VIP (purple) • Desmin (m), ImmPRESS Reagent (HRP) Anti-Mouse IgG, Vector SG (blue-gray).


Breast Carcinoma: • Estrogen Receptor (m), ImmPRESS Reagent (HRP; Universal), Vector NovaRED (red) • CD34 (m), VECTASTAIN ABC-AP Kit (Universal), Vector Blue (blue).


Mouse Tonsil: CD45 (rat), ImmPRESS Reagent (HRP) Anti-Rat IgG, Mouse Adsorbed, ImmPACT® AEC (red), Hematoxylin QS (blue).


Small Bowel: • CD10 (m), ImmPRESS Reagent (HRP) Anti-Mouse IgG, Vector DAB-Ni (black) • Cytokeratin 20 (m), ImmPRESS Reagent (HRP) Anti-Mouse IgG, Vector NovaRED (red).