Someone from my lab put the box of antibodies in the freezer instead the fridge. Can I hope that they will still work?

  • $\begingroup$ Depending on the type of protein and cryoprotectant (eg glycerol), freeze-thaw cycles may or may not damage proteins. $\endgroup$
    – March Ho
    May 6, 2015 at 10:51
  • $\begingroup$ No way to tell until you try them! If they're in glycerol you have a good chance. We normally store our antibodies in the freezer. $\endgroup$
    – Luigi
    May 6, 2015 at 13:05
  • $\begingroup$ @anael Have you read manual for that antibodies? Unless they are home-made, there should be one available. If home-made, then ask person who made them. $\endgroup$ May 6, 2015 at 21:43

2 Answers 2


Most IgGs should be fine when stored in the freezer.

Freezing at -20 or -80 in small aliquots is the optimal storage condition. Ali-quoting minimizes damage due to freezing and thawing, as well as contamination introduced by pipetting from a single vial multiple times. Aliquots are to be frozen and thawed once, with any remainder kept at 4 degrees C.

Enzyme-conjugated antibodies, should not be frozen at all and should instead be kept at 4 degrees C. Freezing and thawing will reduce enzymatic activity in addition to affecting the antibody binding capacity.

Antibodies of the IgG3 isotype are unique in their tendency to form aggregates upon thawing and should always be stored at 4 degrees C

Personally, I store antibodies I use at -20 (they are in PBS), and they work fine for the first freeze thaw cycle. I have never tried more than one freeze thaw, so cant comment on that.



You don't specify which temperature of freezer you're talking about. Antibody can be stored at -80 for long time, but needs to avoid freeze and thaw process. Some people store aliquot of antibody in -80. Another way is to dilute antibody in Glycerol, make 50% dilution. You need to mix well, and then store at -20.


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