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Do you have a complex conjugation and haven't been able to find what you need from our range of products? Don't panic! We offer a custom labeling service - just let us know some more details about your requirements and your contact details in the below form and we will get in touch with a solution for you.

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Antibody/protein labeling

Here at Innova Biosciences, we are the proud manufacturer of the world's easiest to use antibody labeling kits.

Our Lightning-Link range currently consists of over 40 labels, including enzymes, Biotin/Streptavidin, as well as fluorescent proteins and dyes, all in the same easy-to-use format. The kits require just 30 seconds hands on time, and result in 100% antibody yield, as they require no spin or separation steps.

The Thunder-Link range is designed to facilitate easy antibody-oligonucleotide conjugation, and provides all the necessary reagents and columns within the kit. The kits are flexible, allowing you to choose your own oligo sequence, and also include a positive control for your own peace of mind.
All of these technologies are highly optimised to bring you the lowest batch to batch variation, and the highest reliability possible.


Genisphere LLC

Lou Casta, Principal Scientist

We have been working with Innova for about a year now and have had nothing but fantastic experiences with both their sales staff as well as their R&D staff. From the timely generation of quotes and custom project pricing, to the extremely helpful discussions with R&D, we have been duly impressed. Everyone on the Innova team handles themselves with the utmost professionalism and courtesy, and are experts in field. Regarding custom antibody:oligonucleotide conjugates, we were initially impressed with the quality of the conjugates we ordered, and are constantly being “re-impressed” since the quality of subsequent conjugates keeps improving! Again, the Innova team’s expertise in the challenging field of antibody conjugation allows them to tackle any project we toss to them with no hesitation and generate a top-notch product to boot. Overall, we are thoroughly pleased with Innova’s work and staff. We would whole-heartedly recommend them to anyone who needs excellent custom labeling and conjugation work – you will not be disappointed!


Dr Jake Micallef, Chief Scientific Officer

We’ve been really impressed with Innova’s products.

Their biotin kit is simple to use and proved more durable than many competitors’ kits, and we’ve seen significant improvements in reproducibility since we started to use them regularly.

We’re looking forward to continuing to work with the Lightning–Link® technology.

Bio-Check (UK) Limited

Phil Goodwin, Managing Director

Like many other small diagnostics companies we have used our own HRP activation and conjugation techniques for some years. However, on trying Innova’s Lightning Link kit we found its simplicity and the high level of functionality of the conjugates produced to be significantly better. We have since tried another, similar kit but the resulting product was decidedly inferior, with lower signal and higher noise. We plan to continue using Lightning–Link® for our existing ELISAs and also for others to be added to our food testing range in the next few years.


  • How much BSA can the BSA Removal Kit remove?

    Answer: Our 1ml kit can remove all of the BSA from up to 1.25ml of antibody, with a BSA concentration of 0.5% or less. For higher BSA concentrations, the method may need to be repeated, or a higher volume of BSA Removal Buffer may be required. Larger kit sizes can be provided if this is the case by contacting our Technical Support Team or using the 'Custom Quote Request' button.

  • Which purification kit do I need?

    Answer: Our AbSelect range is compatible with our Lightning-Link kits, and the AbPure range is compatible with the InnovaCoat GOLD and InnovaGOLD kits. Click here to a flowchart which will guide you to the best for your antibody starting position.

  • Which label should I use?

    Answer: Roughly, the Lightning-Link kits can be grouped into 3 categories: enzymes, biotin/streptavidin etc, and fluorescent dyes/proteins. Our product application table shows the most common labels used for certain applications, and our Fluorescent labeling table compares absorption and emissions of these kits. The individual product pages can then be used to narrow down which product is best for you.

  • What is the difference between AbPure and AbSelect?

    Answer: This kits are very similar in nature, and indeed the same products across the ranges work in a very similar way, however the composition of the buffers within the kits are different. The AbSelect kits are designed for compatibility with our Lightning-Link® and Thunder-Link® kits, and the AbPure kits are suitable for use prior to the InnovaCoat® GOLD products.

  • Which conjugation chemistry should I select?

    Answer: This depends on which functional groups you want to target. The carboxyl kits target glutamic acid, aspartic acid or free carboxyl groups, the sulfhydryl kits target cysteines or free sulfhydryl groups (SH), whereas the amine kits target lysines or free amines (NH2).

  • How should I store my conjugate?

    Answer: There isn’t one straightforward answer to this question. The long term stability will depend on a multitude of factors, including the antibody and oligo itself, the storage buffer, temperature and concentration.
    In order to maximise stability, we would recommend storing the conjugates as concentrated as possible and at a low temperature. We would suggest checking with the antibody and oligo manufacturers if their products can be stored in 50% glycerol at -20°C – most conjugates should be able to be stored in these conditions, as long as the antibody and oligo can handle -20°C. You might also consider adding some additives to the buffer.

  • Can conjugates generated using Imm-Link be used for the immunisation of animals?

    Answer: Absolutely - these kits were developed with antigen production in mind. Please contact us to find out about large pack sizes of our immunogen kits for manufacturing purposes.

  • What purity and concentration should my oligonucleotide be?

    Answer: The oligo needs to be HPLC purified, between 60-100µM (high) in concentration, and in at least 100µl of a suitable buffer. If the oligo concentration is greater than 100µM, you can use the Wash Buffer provided to dilute the oligo to 100µM.

  • Where does the label bind on my antibody?

    Answer: Unfortunately we cannot guarantee the answer to this question, as we are not able to control the labeling reactions. The active groups will target free amines on the biomolecule, but we cannot be specific as to which one. The most likely case is that the label will bind to the FC region, purely because there are more amine groups in this area. Theoretically, the label could bind to the binding site of the antibody, however this is statistically very unlikely, and we have hardly ever seen this happen.

  • Can the BSA Removal Kit be used to concentrate a sample?

    Answer: Yes, once the separation is complete, the antibody pellet can be recovered using any volume of re-suspension buffer, to reach the desired final concentration.

  • Are larger pack sizes available?

    Answer: Yes, specific pack sizes are available on request. Please contact our Technical Support Team or use the 'Request a Quote' button.

  • What is the difference between Lightning-Link® and Lightning-Link® Rapid?

    Answer: The conjugate quality obtained by the two types of kits is identical. The only difference is the time taken for the conjugates to be ready. Our standard kits require a 3 hour incubation time, whereas the rapid kits only require 15mins. Most of our fluorescent dyes are only available in the rapid format.

  • What buffer should my oligonucleotide be in?

    Answer: The oligo needs to be in a buffer between pH 6 and pH 8 (ideally pH 7) which does not contain any other primary amines, BSA or azide. For a full list of buffer considerations, please consult the product protocol.

  • What if I need bulk material?

    Answer: Our 'off-the-shelf' kit sizes are relatively small to allow testing for R&D purposes. If you require larger pack sizes, or large volumes of our existing kit sizes, this is not a problem. Please simply request a quote using the 'Custom Quote request' button, or contact our Technical Support Team at technical.enquiries@innovabiosciences.com to dicuss your requirements.

  • Could I use the BSA Removal Kit to remove Tris or Glycine from my antibody?

    Answer: Yes, the kit will effectively separate the antibody in this situation. See the Buffer composition section of the protocol for more information on suitable buffers for use with the kit.

  • Could I use the BSA Removal Kit remove gelatin from my sample?

    Answer: Unfortunately not, the kit is specifically designed for the removal of BSA. It is effective on some other buffers, but not on gelatin.

  • What are the benefits of Lightning Link over traditional labelling methods?

    Answer: The Lightning-Link® mix contains all of the necessary chemicals to allow you to conjugate your primary antibody directly to the label of your choice withjust 30 seconds hands on time. As the label is directly conjugated to your primary antibody, non-specific binding arising from secondary antibodies is eliminated in your assay. Also, as the by-products of the reaction are benign, there is no need for purification steps after the conjugation, meaning antibody recovery is virtually 100%. We have over 35 labels available to suit you needs.

  • Do I need specific functional groups on my oligonucleotide?

    Answer: Yes. The oligo MUST contain a terminal amine group. This amine group is added during oligo synthesis and may be either 5’ or 3’. Generally 5’ oligos conjugate slightly more efficiently than 3’ oligos, although the difference is minimal.

  • Is there a limit to the size of my oligo?

    Answer: Yes. The kit is designed to conjugate oligos between 20 and 120 bases. Optimal results are obtained with oligos of around 40 bases. For oligos outside of this size range please contact our Technical Support Team for advice.

  • What size kit should I buy?

    Answer: The answer to this will depend on how much antibody you wish to label, and which label you wish to use. As a vague rule, we provide three standard sizes of kits, 3 x 10ug, 3 x 100ug and 1 x 1mg, which are designed to label 'around' this amount of antibody. The exact amounts possible are detailed in the protocol for the chosen label, so please ensure to consult the relelvant document carefully before ordering. In short, our 3 x 10ug kits are designed for optimisation purposes. The three vials contained in the kit allow you to experiment with concentrations to identify the best ratio for your assay, using minimal amounts of antibody. The larger kit sizes are then available for labeling more of the antibody, once the best ratio has been determined. If a variation or a customised kit size would benefit you, please do not hesitate to contact our Technical Support Team to discuss this.

  • What can I do if my antibody contains more than 20% glycerol?

    Answer: Simply dilute the antibody to a more suitable concentration using distilled water. e.g. if you have 0.25ml antibody containing 50% glycerol, add 0.5ml of water, then separate so there is 375ul per tube, and add 300ul BSA Removal Buffer per tube. Once the pellets have been re-constituted, they can then be pooled together.

  • Can the kit be used to purify antibody from TCS or serum?

    Answer: Unfortunately not, the kit is not specific enough to the antibody to be used as a purification technique in this instance, as other proteins would also precipitate and therefore not be separated from the antibody of interest.

  • How stable will my new conjugate be?

    Answer: The Lightning-Link® chemistry joins the label to the antibody via a uni-directional, stable, covalent bond. The stability of the conjugate will therefore vary slightly depending on the antibody and label in use. In our in house studies, conjugates were still fully active after more than 18 months storage. The necessary storage conditions varies depending on the label and antibody. Please consult the protocol for the relevant Lightning-Link® kit for further information.

  • What buffer should my antibody be in?

    Answer: The antibody needs to be in an amine free buffer, without BSA or Azide, ideally phosphate buffer. The concentration needs to be 1mg/ml, and between pH 7 and 9. If the antibody concentration is higher than 1mg/ml, it can be diluted, however if it is less concentrated than this, it will require concentration prior to use. See our AbSelect range of kits for appropriate concentration and purification products.

  • How much antibody will the kit conjugate?

    Answer: Our Thunder-Link® kits are designed to activate 100µg. If you have the need to conjugate a different value to this, please don’t hesitate to contact our Technical Support Team to discuss options.

  • How many labels will bind to my biomolecule?

    Answer: It is difficult to give a precise answer to this as the result will vary from antibody to antibody (or other protein), and between different labels. Traditional labelling techniques with small dyes e.g. fluorescein, often have F/P ratios in the range of 4-7:1, and our comparative data for staining with antibodies labelled with Lightning Link shows similar staining intensity. For fluorescent proteins, e.g. R-PE, the typical labelling ratio is 1:1. The ratio of dye to antibody is only ever an average for the population of labelled molecules, as individual molecules may have different amount of dye incorporated into them. In most cases. the number of labels per molecule is outlined in the individual protocols.

  • Could the kit have any negative impact on the conjugation efficiency?

    Answer: No, the BSA Removal Buffer has no effect on antibody conjugation using InnovaCoat® GOLD, Lightning-Link®, Lightning-Link® Rapid or Thunder-Link® kits.*

    *Please note AbPure products must be used with InnovaCoat® GOLD, and AbSelect with Lightning-Link®, Lightning-Link® Rapid or Thunder-Link®.

  • Do my antibody and buffer fit the requirements?

    Answer: In order for your antibody to succesfully conjugated, it needs to be purified, and in a suitable, amine free buffer. Details of contaminating substances, and suitable buffer requirements can be found on the protocol for the Lightning-Link® product. We have a range of purification kits that are compatible with our Lightning-Link® products, use this handy purification flowchart to help you find the most suitable purification kits for you.

  • Does antibody species or subtype make a difference to the conjugation efficiency?

    Answer: No. The Thunder-Link® oligo conjugation system is primarily designed to conjugate oligos to purified IgG. The kit will conjugate oligos to IgG irrespective of species. The kit will also conjugate all other antibody subtypes. Please contact our Technical Support Team for specific advice.

  • Can I use the kit to conjugate oligos to proteins other than antibodies?

    Answer: The Thunder-Link® oligo conjugation system is primarily designed to conjugate oligos to purified antibodies. However, because the system works by targeting ‘available’ amine groups on the antibody it can be used to label other proteins and peptides. Please contact our Technical Support Team for specific advice.

  • Do I need a wash or desalt step?

    Answer: No. The Lightning-Link® technology has been optimised so that when the protocols are followed correctly, there is virtually no free label remaining. Any labels that are left over have there reactive groups blocked by the quencher step, meaning they will not interfere. They are then simply washed away by the wash steps in your chosen application.

  • Can I label a peptide/protein/antibody other than IgG?

    Answer: Yes. The Lightning-Link® technology conjugates to free amine groups on your target, meaning it can be used to label most biomolecules. However the protocol may need adapting slightly. See the protocol for your chosen label to see any necessary amendments.

  • Can different sub-types of antibodies be used?

    Answer: Yes, however a slight protocol adapatation may be require dependant on size difference. Our protocols are optimised for labeling IgG antibodies, so we would recommend adapting the amounts involved according to the size difference of your subtype vs. IgG. Please see the protocol for your chosen label for details on how to accomodate this. Please note: although IgM antibodies are much larger than IgG's, we recommend that you follow the protocol as though you were labelling IgG, as this usually gives the best results. The best amount for your particular antibody will need to be determined experimentally.

  • Can antibody fragments be conjugated?

    Answer: Yes, as they contain amine groups, this will not be a problem. We have seen many succesful conjugations of Lightning-Link® with antibody fragments in the past. The protocols are optimised for labeling whole IgG molecules, so please consult the protocol of your chosen label for details on how to accomodate for difference in size.

  • How much unbound oligo will remain?

    Answer: The Thunder-Link® protocol is designed to ensure there is as little unbound oligo left after the conjugation as possible, however the kits also include the reagents for a Clean-Up step to reduce this value even further. Analysis has shown that after one purification step this percentage of unbound oligo that has been removed can be as much as 98%. This can be increased to 99% after a second purification step, and has been shown to leave undetecatable levels after a third step. How imporant this is will depend entirely on your application.

  • What size and modifications should my oligo have?

    Answer: The kits are optimised for oligos between 20 and 120 base pairs in length. Please contact our Technical Support Team (technical.enquiries@innovabiosciences.com) if your oligo is out of this range, and we can advise further. The oligo must contain a terminal amine group, which must be added during synthesis. The efficiency of conjugation is slightly higher with 5’aminated oligos, and all commercial oligo suppliers offer this modification.

  • Can antibodies from different species be used?

    Answer: Yes, as the chemistry is not specific to a specie, but works by tragetting primary amine groups on your molecule. Antibodies from all species will contain amine groups, and are therefore compatible with Lightning-Link.

  • Do I need to purify the conjugate post conjugation?

    Answer: No. The chemicals used in Lightning-Link® and Lightning-Link® Rapid kits are deactivated by the quencher provided in the kits, and the by-products are benign and do not need to be removed.

  • What is the concentration of my conjugated antibody?

    Answer: There is no easy way to measure the concentration of the conjugate once the clean up step has been carried out. Instead, measure the antibody concentration (OD 280nm) after the desalt step has been performed, before conjugation. Provided that the protocol has been followed, you can assume 100% conjugation, and the concentration of the conjugate can be expected to be the same as the starting concentration of the antibody.

  • What are the best storage conditions for my new conjugate?

    Answer: The storage conditions vary depending on the label used. Please consult the protocol for the label of choice to identify the best storage conditions. These will also vary depending on the antibody, so please bear this in mind.