Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Universal, Quantitative Antibody Labeling Platform

Technology #5514

Newly developed antibody-conjugated fluorophore-labeled dendrimers offer improved sensitivity and quantitative analysis for a wide range of research and clinical applications. Current antibody labeling strategies are prone to batch-to-batch variability and are dependent on stochastic chemical reactions. Utilizing modified PAMAM dendrimer nanoparticles for antibody labeling with fluorophores offers a universal mechanism for antibody labeling and improves quantitative analyses. Antibodies can be labeled with known amounts of fluorophore without disrupting antibody structure or function in contrast to current antibody labeling methodologies.

Dendrimer nanoparticles modified to contain exact numbers of fluorophore-conjugation ligands

Antibodies are conjugated to two dendrimers each containing a known number of fluorophores. The resulting antibody-labeled dendrimer is termed a Dlabel. PAMAM dendrimers were modified to decrease variability and to achieve dendrimers with exact numbers of fluorophore conjugation ligands. HPLC analysis of dendrimers with known amounts of dye molecules revealed precise dye labeling of dendrimers. Dlabels utilize a universal method of antibody labeling and increase sensitivity and accuracy based on regulating the number of dye molecules per dendrimer. Dlabels are similar to current antibody-labeling technologies in that the end product is antibodies labeled with fluorophores. However, Dlabels preserve antibody structure and function, reduce variability, and increase sensitivity. Moreover, in the future, Dlabels could be modified to carry therapeutics rather than fluorophores to allow for targeted delivery of therapeutics based on antibody specificity. Due to their ease of synthesis and versatility, Dlabels could be the new wave of antibody research products and eventually antibody-based therapy.


  • Labeling of antibodies with fluorophore-conjugated dendrimers for research applications such as flow cytometry.
  • Labeling of antibodies with dendrimers loaded with therapeutics for clinical applications.


  • Increased sensitivity and quantitative measurements based on increasing/normalizing number of dye-conjugated dendrimers.
  • Streamlined production process that relies on one set of chemical reactions rather than one reaction per antibody/dye combination.
  • Increased preservation of antibody structure and function compared to other antibody labeling methods.