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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay  listen  (EN-zime-linkt IH-myoo-noh-SOR-bent A-say)

  A laboratory technique that uses antibodies linked to enzymes to detect and measure the amount of a substance in a solution, such as serum. The test is done using a solid surface to which the antibodies and other molecules stick. In the final step, an enzyme reaction takes place that causes a color change that can be read using a special machine. There are many different ways that an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay can be done. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays may be used to help diagnose certain diseases. Also called ELISA.