Lars-Äke Nilsson, Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Göteborg, Göteborg, Sweden

Copyright © 1998 Elsevier Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Nephelometry (Gr. nephele, cloud), also called immunonephelometry, is a method suitable for the quantitative determination of proteins and other biological substances. It is based on the precipitin reaction in fluid medium, whereby the reaction between an antigen and its corresponding antibody results in the formation of small antigen-antibody aggregates, which successively develop into floccules or precipitates. Detection of the antigen-antibody complexes formed is accomplished by measurement of the amount of scattered light at an angle to an incident beam passed through the solution. This principle differs from that of turbidimetry in which residual transmitted light is measured. Devices for the quantitative measurement of light scattered by particles in a fluid, nephelometers, were introduced on a more commercial basis in the early 1970s.

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