University lab closed? Learn about ELISA assays with these virtual resources.

In my biotech virtual classes, we learned that ELISA assays use antibodies to detect and quantify proteins, but we didn’t have time to study how an ELISA assay works, nor the steps for completing one. To the internet I went and found more resources than I could need!

Here’s what I did to learn, study and commit to memory ELISA basics.

I combined a video, simulation, and a few websites to get a reasonable understanding of the principles behind the various ELISA assays and the steps involved to complete them.

It turns out that there are several types of ELISA assays and which one you use depends on factors such as cost, time, and sensitivity-level required. The tests are basically broken down into direct ELISA, indirect ELISA, sandwich ELISA (direct or indirect) and competitive ELISA. The video describes each one as does numerous websites. I used the following:


The sandwich ELISA simulation by gives you a real feel for the steps you would be required to do in the real world (except that virtual world time compression makes everything faster!). I ran through it once before watching the video, but it made a whole lot more sense after watching the video and creating this free flashcard set.

My steps for learning about ELISA assays:

1. Watch the ELISA video made by the Biomedical and Biological Sciences YouTube channel. I recommend taking notes to help you really pay attention to the material.

2. Complete the ELISA Sandwich simulation by If you do not have/want a subscription you can watch the video version on YouTube.

3. Deepen and strengthen your knowledge by using these Quizlet flashcards that I made. Here I combine building assay vocabulary with learning the basic steps of most ELISA assays.

My favorite way to use Quizlet is the multiple choice option – click on “Learn”, then click on “Options”. A window will open – scroll down and uncheck the “flashcards” and “written questions” boxes. Now only “Multiple choice questions” is checked.

Diagram attribution: NickCT, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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