Enzyme Immunoassay (EIA)/Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA)
This brief note addresses the historical background of the invention of the enzyme immunoassay (EIA) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). These assays were developed independently and simultaneously by the research group of Peter Perlmann and Eva Engvall at Stockholm University in Sweden and by the research group of Anton Schuurs and Bauke van Weemen in The Netherlands. Today, fully automated instruments in medical laboratories around the world use the immunoassay principle with an enzyme as the reporter label for routine measurements of innumerable analytes in patient samples. The impact of EIA/ELISA is reflected in the overwhelmingly large number of times it has appeared as a keyword in the literature since the 1970s. Clinicians and their patients, medical laboratories, in vitro diagnostics manufacturers, and worldwide healthcare systems owe much to these four inventors.