Publications & Posters

Analytical Tools To Improve Optimization Procedures For Lateral Flow Assays


Helen Hsieh, Jeffrey Dantzler, Bernhard Weigl


DOI: 10.3390/diagnostics7020029

Immunochromatographic or lateral flow assays (LFAs) are inexpensive, easy to use, point-of-care medical diagnostic tests that are found in arenas ranging from a doctor’s office in Manhattan to a rural medical clinic in low resource settings. The simplicity in the LFA itself belies the complex task of optimization required to make the test sensitive, rapid and easy to use. Currently, the manufacturers develop LFAs by empirical optimization of material components (e.g., analytical membranes, conjugate pads and sample pads), biological reagents (e.g., antibodies, blocking reagents and buffers) and the design of delivery geometry. In this paper, we will review conventional optimization and then focus on the latter and outline analytical tools, such as dynamic light scattering and optical biosensors, as well as methods, such as microfluidic flow design and mechanistic models. We are applying these tools to find non-obvious optima of lateral flow assays for improved sensitivity, specificity and manufacturing robustness.