LlaMABody™-Camelid Antibodies

Camelid antibodies and VHH antibodies are now offered through R&D Systems.

Isotype Control antibody

Camelid antibodies are used in many forms of research including studying of protein structure, high resolution imaging applications, drug delivery, as well as detection and neutralization of viruses. Due to the smaller size, these antibodies can detect epitopes that are more difficult to reach than the conventional antibody.

R&D Systems utilizes our recombinant antibody engineering expertise to offer multiple forms of camelid antibodies in our LlaMABody product line. We offer:

  • Native llama heavy chain IgG antibodies
  • VHH antibody domain conjugated to His-tag for convenient detection
  • VHH domains on a human IgG scaffold

We have introduced a smaller His-tagged VHH domain LlaMABody™ (Catalog # LMAB10869) that blocks binding of SARS-CoV-2 Spike RBD to ACE-2 transfected cells in an equivalent manner to the VHH-72 fusion clone.

In addition to the SARS Spike RBD LlaMABody™ antibodies, we offer His-tagged and bivalent VHH domain LlaMABody™ Antibodies targeting Siglec-2, Siglec-3, and ST2/IL-33R in our retail catalog.


View Our Complete Retail LlaMABodyTM Options



What are Camelid Antibodies?

Camelid antibodies are antibodies from the Camelidae family of mammals that include llamas, camels, and alpacas. These animals produce 2 main types of antibodies. One type of antibody camelids produce is the conventional antibody that is made up of 2 heavy chains and 2 light chains. They also produce another type of antibody that is made up of only 2 heavy chains. This is known as heavy chain IgG (hcIgG). While these antibodies do not contain the CH1 region, they retain an antigen binding domain called the VHH region. VHH antibodies, also known as single domain antibodies or Nanobodies®, contain only the VHH region from the camelid antibody.


Camelid antibodies are made up of only 2 heavy chains and contain a binding domain call the VHH region.





Advantages of Camelid Antibodies

VHH antibodies can provide many benefits over traditional IgG antibodies. VHH antibodies are about 15kDa in size compared to the 150kDa size of an IgG antibody. Due to their smaller size they are able to detect certain epitopes that may not have been accessible in blocking and with flow cytometry staining in live cells with a traditional antibody due to steric hindrance. They are also able to penetrate fixed tissue and enter cells easier allowing for more specific IHC staining and intracellular flow cytometry staining. The VHH antibodies are also more stable and can withstand a larger pH and temperature range.


Custom Services

At R&D Systems, we have optimized a modular platform for custom recombinant antibody development and are able to provide additional products that may not be found in our catalog. By using our extensive recombinant antibody knowledge, we are able to provide custom LlaMABody products that include VHH antibodies (single domain antibodies), bivalent VHH antibodies and VHH domains fused to IgG backbones from a variety of species.


To learn more about our antibody engineering process, watch our webinar on Recombinant Antibody Technology: Versatile Platforms for Diverse Engineering and Custom Services.


View Our Antibody Custom Services


LlaMABody FAQs

Q: What type of antibodies do llamas make?

A: Mammals from the Camelidae family, which includes llamas, produce conventional antibodies made up of 2 heavy chains and 2 light chains. They also produce antibodies with only 2 heavy chains. By using our extensive recombinant antibody and engineering knowledge, we developed our LlaMABody product line that includes VHH antibodies (single domain antibodies), bivalent VHH antibodies and VHH domains fused to IgG scaffolds from a variety of species.

Q: What do the different nomenclature mean?


  • VHH – this is also known as the single domain antibody
  • Bi-valent VHH – Our development scientists engineer two single domain antibodies (targeting different epitopes on the same or different targets) in tandem.
  • VHH- IgG scaffold – Our development scientists fuse the VHH domain to IgG (CH2-CH3 constant domains from a variety of species such as llama, human, or mouse. If the species you are interested in is not readily available in our retail catalog, contact our custom team here.

Q: What is the molecular weight of VHH antibodies compared to conventional Llama antibodies?

A: The molecular weight of conventional Llama antibodies is approximately 150kDa and monovalent VHH antibodies is approximately 15 kDa.

Q: Why would I want to use a LlaMABodyTM antibody?

A: Llama antibodies have many applications due to their small size, high stability, low Immunogenicity, and ease of production.

  • Excellent stability in extreme conditions, temperature, pH
  • Superb penetrability for hard-to-reach epitopes
  • Great potential for downstream engineering, scale-up, and GMP production.

Q: Is conjugation available for LlaMABodyTM antibodies?

A: We have optimized procedures for the addition of biotin, enzymes, and a myriad of fluorochromes to single domain antibodies. Inquire about our custom conjugation here.

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