Enhancement of lateral flow assay performance by electromagnetic relocation of reporter particles.
ABSTRACT: Lateral flow assays (LFAs) are a widely-used point-of care diagnostic format, but suffer from limited analytical sensitivity, especially when read by eye. It has recently been reported that LFA performance can be improved by using magnetic reporter particles and an external magnetic field applied at the test line. The mechanism of sensitivity/performance enhancement was suggested to be concentration/retardation of reporter particles at the test line. Here we demonstrate an additional mechanism of particle relocation where reporter particles from the lower depths of the translucent LFA strip relocate to more-visible locations nearer to the top surface, producing a more visible signal. With a magnetic field we observed an improvement in sensitivity of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) detection from 1.25 ng/mL to 0.31 ng/mL. We also observed an increase of the color intensity per particle in test lines when the magnetic field was present.
Project description:To identify factors controlling the performance of reporter particles in a sensitive lateral-flow assay (LFA), we investigated the effect of the flux and shape of filamentous bacteriophage (phage) on the performance of phage LFAs. Phage of three different lengths and diameters were modified with biotin and AlexaFluor 555 as binding and read-out elements, respectively. The binding efficiencies of the functionalized phage were tested in a fibrous glass LFA membrane modified with avidin. The total binding rate, quantified using real-time particle counting and particle image velocimetry, decreased monotonically with the average bulk flux of phage through the membrane. At the pore scale, more phage bound in regions with faster local flow, confirming that both average and local flux increased binding. The number of bound phage increased with the aspect ratio of the phage and scaled with the phage surface area, consistent with a binding interaction controlled by the number of recognition elements on the surface. Together, these results indicate that increasing the likelihood that recognition elements on the surface of phage encounter the fibers enhances the assay binding efficiency and suggests one origin for the improved performance of nonspherical phage reporters.
Project description:Incorporating two persistent luminescent nanophosphors (PLNPs), green-emitting SrAl<sub>2</sub>O<sub>4</sub>:Eu<sup>2+</sup>,Dy<sup>3+</sup> (SAO) and blue-emitting (Sr<sub>0.625</sub>Ba<sub>0.375</sub>)<sub>2</sub>MgSi<sub>2</sub>O<sub>7</sub>:Eu<sup>2+</sup>,Dy<sup>3+</sup> (SBMSO), in a single lateral flow assay (LFA) establishes a luminescence-based, multiplex point-of-need test capable of simultaneously detecting two different analytes in a single sample. The advantages of this system are the high sensitivity and photostability of PLNPs, while only requiring access to minimal hardware and a smartphone for signal detection. The PLNPs were obtained by first wet milling bulk synthesized phosphor powders, followed by fractionation using differential centrifugal sedimentation to obtain monodisperse nanoparticles. A modified Stöber process was then employed to encapsulate the nanoparticles in a water-stable silica shell followed by attaching antibodies to the particles' surfaces using reductive amination chemistry. The resulting PLNPs were incorporated in an LFA to concurrently detect two independent model analytes, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). The multicolor-multiplex PLNP-based assays were finally imaged using a smartphone-based imaging system with excellent detection limits (0.1 ng mL<sup>-1</sup> of PSA and 1 ng mL<sup>-1</sup> of hCG) that are competitive with commercially available LFAs.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:To assess the diagnostic performance of rapid lateral flow immunochromatographic assays (LFAs) compared with an ELISA and nucleic acid amplification tests (NATs) in individuals with suspected coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). METHODS:Patients presenting to a Dutch teaching hospital were eligible between 17 March and 10 April 2020, when they had respiratory symptoms that were suspected for COVID-19. The performances of six different LFAs were evaluated in plasma samples obtained on corresponding respiratory sample dates of NATs testing. Subsequently, the best performing LFA was evaluated in 228 patients and in 50 sera of a historical patient control group. RESULTS:In the pilot analysis, sensitivity characteristics of LFA were heterogeneous, ranging from 2/20 (10%; 95% CI 0%-23%) to 11/20 (55%; 95% CI 33%-77%). In the total cohort, Orient Gene Biotech COVID-19 IgG/IgM Rapid Test LFA had a sensitivity of 43/99 (43%; 95% CI 34%-53%) and specificity of 126/129 (98%; 95% CI 95%-100%). Sensitivity increased to 31/52 (60%; 95% CI 46%-73%) in patients with at least 7 days of symptoms, and to 21/33 (64%; 95% CI 47%-80%) in patients with C-reactive protein (CRP) ?100 mg/L. Sensitivity and specificity of Wantai SARS-CoV-2 Ab ELISA was 59/95 (62%; 95% CI 52%-72%) and 125/128 (98%; 95% CI 95%-100%) in all patients, respectively, but sensitivity increased to 38/48 (79%; 95% CI 68%-91%) in patients with at least 7 days of symptoms. CONCLUSIONS:There is large variability in diagnostic test performance between rapid LFAs, but overall limited sensitivity and high specificity in acutely admitted patients. Sensitivity improved in patients with longer existing symptoms or high CRP. LFAs should only be considered as additional triage tools when these may lead to the improvement of hospital logistics.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:To evaluate the diagnostic performance of seven rapid IgG/IgM tests and the Euroimmun IgA/IgG ELISA for antibodies against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in COVID-19 patients. METHODS:Specificity was evaluated in 103 samples collected before January 2020. Sensitivity and time to seropositivity was evaluated in 167 samples from 94 patients with COVID-19 confirmed with RT-PCR on nasopharyngeal swab. RESULTS:Specificity (confidence interval) of lateral flow assays (LFAs) was ?91.3% (84.0-95.5) for IgM, ?90.3% (82.9-94.8) for IgG, and ?85.4% (77.2-91.1) for the combination IgM OR IgG. Specificity of the ELISA was 96.1% (90.1-98.8) for IgG and only 73.8% (64.5-81.4) for IgA. Sensitivity 14-25 days after the onset of symptoms was between ?92.1% (78.5-98.0) and 100% (95.7-100) for IgG LFA compared to 89.5% (75.3-96.4) for IgG ELISA. Positivity of IgM OR IgG for LFA resulted in a decrease in specificity compared to IgG alone without a gain in diagnostic performance, except for VivaDiag. The results for IgM varied significantly between the LFAs with an average overall agreement of only 70% compared to 89% for IgG. The average dynamic trend to seropositivity for IgM was not shorter than for IgG. At the time of hospital admission the sensitivity of LFA was <60%. CONCLUSIONS:Sensitivity for the detection of IgG antibodies 14-25 days after the onset of symptoms was ?92.1% for all seven LFAs compared to 89.5% for the IgG ELISA. The results for IgM varied significantly, and including IgM antibodies in addition to IgG for the interpretation of LFAs did not improve the diagnostic performance.
Project description:We introduce the modification of bacteriophage particles with aptamers for use as bioanalytical reporters, and demonstrate the use of these particles in ultrasensitive lateral flow assays. M13 phage displaying an in vivo biotinylatable peptide (AviTag) genetically fused to the phage tail protein pIII were used as reporter particle scaffolds, with biotinylated aptamers attached via avidin-biotin linkages, and horseradish peroxidase (HRP) reporter enzymes covalently attached to the pVIII coat protein. These modified viral nanoparticles were used in immunochromatographic sandwich assays for the direct detection of IgE and of the penicillin-binding protein from Staphylococcus aureus (PBP2a). We also developed an additional lateral flow assay for IgE, in which the analyte is sandwiched between immobilized anti-IgE antibodies and aptamer-bearing reporter phage modified with HRP. The limit of detection of this LFA was 0.13 ng/mL IgE, ?100 times lower than those of previously reported IgE assays.
Project description:Diagnosis of asymptomatic malaria poses a great challenge to global disease elimination efforts. Healthcare infrastructure in rural settings cannot support existing state-of-the-art tools necessary to diagnose asymptomatic malaria infections. Instead, lateral flow immunoassays (LFAs) are widely used as a diagnostic tool in malaria endemic areas. While LFAs are simple and easy to use, they are unable to detect low levels of parasite infection. We have developed a field deployable Magnetically-enabled Biomarker Extraction And Delivery System (mBEADS) that significantly improves limits of detection for several commercially available LFAs. Integration of mBEADS with leading commercial Plasmodium falciparum malaria LFAs improves detection limits to encompass an estimated 95% of the disease reservoir. This user-centered mBEADS platform makes significant improvements to a previously cumbersome malaria biomarker enrichment strategy by improving reagent stability, decreasing the processing time 10-fold, and reducing the assay cost 10-fold. The resulting mBEADS process adds just three minutes and less than $0.25 to the total cost of a single LFA, thus balancing sensitivity and practicality to align with the World Health Organization's ASSURED criteria for point-of-care (POC) testing.
Project description:Lateral flow assay (LFA) is a well-established platform for point-of-care (POC) testing due to its low cost and user friendliness. Conventional LFAs provide qualitative or semi-quantitative results and require dedicated instruments for quantitative detection. Here, we developed an "LFA ruler" for quantitative and rapid readout of LFA results, using a 3D printed strip cassette and a simple, inexpensive microfluidic chip. Platinum nanoparticles are used as signal amplification reporters, which catalyze the generation of oxygen to push ink advancement in the microfluidic channel. The concentration of the target is linearly correlated with the ink advancement distance. The entire assay can be completed within 30 minutes without external instruments and complicated operations. We demonstrated quantitative prostate specific antigen testing using the LFA ruler, with a limit of detection of 0.54 ng mL-1, linear range of 0-12 ng mL-1, and high correlation with a clinical gold standard assay. The LFA ruler achieves low cost, quantitative, sensitive and rapid detection, which has great potential in POC testing and can be extended to quantify other disease biomarkers.
Project description:We demonstrated a lateral flow immunoassay (LFA) for detection of viruses using fluorescently labeled M13 bacteriophage as reporters and single-reporter counting as the readout. AviTag-biotinylated M13 phage were functionalized with antibodies using avidin-biotin conjugation and fluorescently labeled with AlexaFluor 555. Individual phage bound to target viruses (here MS2 as a model) captured on an LFA membrane strip were imaged using epi-fluorescence microscopy. Using automated image processing, we counted the number of bound phage in micrographs as a function of target concentration. The resultant assay was more sensitive than enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and traditional colloidal-gold nanoparticle LFAs for direct detection of viruses.
Project description:Aptamer-based lateral flow assays (LFAs) are an emerging field of aptamer applications due to numerous potential applications. When compared to antibodies, potential advantages like cost effectiveness or lower batch to batch variations are evident. The development of LFAs for small molecules, however, is still challenging due to several reasons, primarily linked to target size and accessible interaction sites. In small molecule analysis, however, aptamers in many cases are preferable since immunogenicity is not required and they may exhibit even higher target selectivity. We report the first cross-recognition of a small molecule (ampicillin) and a protein (C-reactive protein), predicted by in-silico analysis, then experimentally confirmed - using two different aptamers. These features can be exploited for developing an aptamer-based LFA for label-free ampicillin detection, functioning also for analysis in milk extract. Most importantly, the principal setup denotes a novel, transferable and versatile general approach for detection of small molecules using competitive LFAs, unlikely to be generally realized by aptamer-DNA-binding otherwise.
Project description:Demand for highly sensitive, robust diagnostics and environmental monitoring methods has led to extensive research in improving reporter technologies. Inorganic phosphorescent materials exhibiting persistent luminescence are commonly found in electroluminescent displays and glowing paints but are not widely used as reporters in diagnostic assays. Persistent luminescence nanoparticles (PLNPs) offer advantages over conventional photoluminescent probes, including the potential for enhanced sensitivity by collecting time-resolved measurements or images with decreased background autofluorescence while eliminating the need for expensive optical hardware, superior resistance to photobleaching, amenability to quantitation, and facile bioconjugation schemes. We isolated rare-earth doped strontium aluminate PLNPs from larger-particle commercial materials by wet milling and differential sedimentation and water-stabilized the particles by silica encapsulation using a modified Stöber process. Surface treatment with aldehyde silane followed by reductive amination with heterobifunctional amine-poly(ethylene glycol)-carboxyl allowed covalent attachment of proteins to the particles using standard carbodiimide chemistry. NeutrAvidin PLNPs were used in lateral flow assays (LFAs) with biotinylated lysozyme as a model analyte in buffer and monoclonal anti-lysozyme HyHEL-5 antibodies at the test line. Preliminary experiments revealed a limit of detection below 100 pg/mL using the NeutrAvidin PLNPs, which was approximately an order of magnitude more sensitive than colloidal gold.