Lateral Flow Devices

Lateral Flow Devices

Lateral Flow Assays

The Lateral Flow Device (LFD) rapid assay format is routinely used in ‘point-of-care’ diagnostic tests in healthcare. In this format, aptamers have several key advantages over antibodies, which include:

  1. More robust assays: Aptamer-based tests are more resistant to variations in sample buffers such as pH changes, ionic strength and organic solvents.
  2. Lower production cost: Aptamers are chemically defined with 30-100 nucleotides, which means the synthesis of these macromolecules is straightforward and very cost effective.
  3. Low batch-to-batch variation: As aptamers are chemically synthesised, batch-to-batch variation is virtually eliminated.
  4. Higher reagent immobilisation: Aptamers are much smaller than antibodies, so more capture reagent can be immobilised on the same membrane surface area.
  5. Greater temperature stability: aptamers are much more stable at higher temperatures, eliminating the requirement for controlled storage.

Example of In-House Developed LFD

The project concentrated on gold nanoparticle labelled aptamer detection of a protein target to demonstrate the aptamer gold complex works in the context of a traditional LFD. The project was carried out to demonstrate that the aptamer gold complex works in the context of a prototype LFD.

Through work with LFD partners we have successfully demonstrated that aptamers, for a range of targets, outperform in-house antibody equivalents. Further development is underway with a focus on optimising a variety of assay formats and a review of aptamer binding to various membranes and colloidal particles, both critical to LFD production.