(aka single domain antibodies or VHH antibodies) are a type of antibodies
derived from camelids, and are much smaller than traditional antibodies.
Standard antibodies are giants by molecular
standards, since each one is a conglomerate of two heavy protein chains and two light chains, intricately
folded and garnished with elaborate sugars. Nanobodies, however, are
relatively simple proteins
about a tenth the size of human antibodies and just a few nanometers in length. After the discovery that camelidae
(camels and llamas) possess fully functional antibodies that lack light
chains, the nanobody
was developed to exploit these smaller heavy-chain-only constructs.
Nanobodies are being researched for multiple pharmaceutical applications and have potential for use in
cancer and Alzheimer's Disease treatments.