Improvement in Detection Limit for Lateral Flow Assay of Biomacromolecules by Test-Zone Pre-enrichment.
ABSTRACT: Lateral flow assay (LFA) is one of the most prevalent commercially available techniques for point-of-care tests due to its simplicity, celerity, low cost and robust operation. However, conventional colorimetric LFAs have inferior limits of detection (LODs) compared to sophisticated laboratory-based assays. Here, we report a simple strategy of test-zone pre-enrichment to improve the LOD of LFA by loading samples before the conjugate pad assembly. The developed method enables visual LODs of miR-210 mimic and human chorionic gonadotropin protein, to be improved by 10-100 fold compared with a conventional LFA setup without introducing any additional instrument and reagent except for phosphate running buffer, while no obvious difference occurred for Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1). It takes about 6-8?min to enrich every 50 ?L of sample diluted with phosphate running buffer, therefore we can get visual results within 20?min. We identified a parameter by modeling the entire process, the concentration of probe-analyte conjugate at test zone when signaling unit being loaded, to be important for the improvement of visual limit of detection. In addition, the test-zone pre-enrichment did not impair the selectivity when miR-210 mimic was adopted as target. Integrated with other optimization, amplification and modification of LFAs, the developed test-zone pre-enrichment method can be applied to further improve LOD of 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:Rapid, simple, and cost-effective diagnostics are needed to improve healthcare at the point of care (POC). However, the most widely used POC diagnostic, the lateral flow immunoassay (LFA), is ?1000-times less sensitive and has a smaller analytical range than laboratory tests, requiring a confirmatory test to establish truly negative results. Here, a rational and systematic strategy is used to design the LFA contrast label (i.e., gold nanoparticles) to improve the analytical sensitivity, analytical detection range, and antigen quantification of LFAs. Specifically, we discovered that the size (30, 60, or 100 nm) of the gold nanoparticles is a main contributor to the LFA analytical performance through both the degree of receptor interaction and the ultimate visual or thermal contrast signals. Using the optimal LFA design, we demonstrated the ability to improve the analytical sensitivity by 256-fold and expand the analytical detection range from 3 log10 to 6 log10 for diagnosing patients with inflammatory conditions by measuring C-reactive protein. This work demonstrates that, with appropriate design of the contrast label, a simple and commonly used diagnostic technology can compete with more expensive state-of-the-art laboratory tests.
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:In this study, we have first developed a rapid and sensitive strip immunosensor based on two heterogeneously-sized gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) probes for the detection of trace lead ions in drinking water. The sensitivity was 4-fold higher than that of the conventional LFA under the optimized conditions. The visual limit of detection (LOD) of the amplified method for qualitative detection lead ions was 2 ng/mL and the LOD for semi-quantitative detection could go down to 0.19 ng/mL using a scanning reader. The method suffered from no interference from other metal ions and could be used to detect trace lead ions in drinking water without sample enrichment. The recovery of the test samples ranged from 96% to 103%. As the detection method could be accomplished within 15 min, this method could be used as a potential tool for preliminary monitoring of lead contamination in drinking water.
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:Salmonella is among the very important pathogens threating the human and animal health. Rapid and easy detection of these pathogens is crucial. In this context, antibody (Ab) based lateral flow assays (LFAs) which are simple immunochromatographic point of care test kits were developed by gold nanoparticles (GNPs) as labelling agent for Salmonella detection. For that purpose some critical parameters such as reagent concentrations on the capture zones, conjugate concentrations and ideal membrane type needed for LFAs for whole cell detection were tested for naked eye analysis. Therefore, prepared LFAs were applied to the live and heat inactivated cells when they were used alone or included in different bacterial mixtures. Among the test platforms, membrane 180 (M180) was found as an ideal membrane and 36 nm GNPs showed highly good labelling in the developed LFAs. Diluted conjugates and low concentrations of reagents affected the test signal negatively. Salmonella was detected in different bacterial mixtures, selectively in 4-5 min. The best recognized species by used Ab were S. enteritidis and S. infantis. 5?×?105 S. typhimurium cells were also determined as a limit of detection of this study with mentioned parameters.
Project description: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:An assay was developed to detect the potato spindle tuber viroid (PSTVd), a dangerous plant pathogen that causes crop damage resulting in economic losses in the potato agriculture sector. The assay was based on the reverse transcription and recombinase polymerase amplification (RT-RPA) of PSTVd RNA coupled with amplicon detection via lateral flow assay (LFA). Primers labeled with fluorescein and biotin were designed for RT-RPA for effective recognition of the loop regions in the high-structured circular RNA of PSTVd. The labeled DNA amplicon was detected using lateral flow test strips consisting of a conjugate of gold nanoparticles with antibodies specific to fluorescein and streptavidin in the test zone. The RT-RPA-LFA detected 106 copies of in vitro transcribed PSTVd RNA in reaction or up to 1:107 diluted extracts of infected plant leaves. The assay took 30 min, including the RT-RPA stage and the LFA stage. The testing of healthy and infected potato samples showed full concordance between the developed RT-RPA-LFA and quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and the commercial kit. The obtained results proved the feasibility of using the developed assay to detect PSTVd from a natural source.
Project description:Two efforts to improve the sensitivity and limits of detection for MCE with electrochemical detection are presented here. One is the implementation of a capillary expansion (bubble cell) at the detection zone to increase the exposed working electrode surface area. Bubble cell widths were varied from 1x to 10x the separation channel width (50 mum) to investigate the effects of electrode surface area on detection sensitivity, LOD, and separation efficiency. Improved detection sensitivity and decreased detection limits were obtained with increased bubble cell width, and LODs of dopamine and catechol detected in a 5x bubble cell were 25 and 50 nM, respectively. Meanwhile, fluorescent imaging results demonstrated approximately 8 and approximately 12% loss in separation efficiency in 4x and 5x bubble cell, respectively. Another effort at reducing the LOD involves using field amplified sample injection for gated injection and field amplified sample stacking for hydrodynamic injection. Stacking effects are shown for both methods using amperometric detection and pulsed amperometric detection. The LODs of dopamine in a 4x bubble cell were 8 and 20 nM using field amplified sample injection and field amplified sample stacking, respectively. However, improved LODs were not obtained for anionic analytes using either stacking technique.
Project description:Background:Serological tests are crucial tools for assessments of SARS-CoV-2 exposure, infection and potential immunity. Their appropriate use and interpretation require accurate assay performance data. Method:We conducted an evaluation of 10 lateral flow assays (LFAs) and two ELISAs to detect anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. The specimen set comprised 128 plasma or serum samples from 79 symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR-positive individuals; 108 pre-COVID-19 negative controls; and 52 recent samples from individuals who underwent respiratory viral testing but were not diagnosed with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Samples were blinded and LFA results were interpreted by two independent readers, using a standardized intensity scoring system. Results:Among specimens from SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR-positive individuals, the percent seropositive increased with time interval, peaking at 81.8-100.0% in samples taken >20 days after symptom onset. Test specificity ranged from 84.3-100.0% in pre-COVID-19 specimens. Specificity was higher when weak LFA bands were considered negative, but this decreased sensitivity. IgM detection was more variable than IgG, and detection was highest when IgM and IgG results were combined. Agreement between ELISAs and LFAs ranged from 75.7-94.8%. No consistent cross-reactivity was observed. Conclusion:Our evaluation showed heterogeneous assay performance. Reader training is key to reliable LFA performance, and can be tailored for survey goals. Informed use of serology will require evaluations covering the full spectrum of SARS-CoV-2 infections, from asymptomatic and mild infection to severe disease, and later convalescence. Well-designed studies to elucidate the mechanisms and serological correlates of protective immunity will be crucial to guide rational clinical and public health policies.