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Limiting dilution analysis

[limiting dilution, limiting dilution assay, limiting dilution assays]

abbr. LDA. A type of analysis initially used in immunology to determine in a population of lymphocytic cells the unknown frequency of discrete clones of lymphocytes that respond to a specific antigen or with a particular effector function. It is the only way to assess, in a quantitative manner, immune responses in humans at the level of individual cells and the technique therefore is a valuable non-invasive prognostic and diagnostic tool that can be carried out as often as required. Limiting dilution analysis methods have been adapted subsequently for other purposes, allowing, for example, detection, quantification, and functional analysis of other individual (rare) cell types by investigating their clonal growth.


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