While the basis for rapid tests were initiated over 50 years ago, continual improvements have refined the technology and simplified the tests utility.
This incredible amount of work has made it possible to take time intensive testing needing:
1. Expensive equipment
2. Highly trained personnel
3. Research laboratory environment
Into a test that can be performed:
3. By unexperienced users
4. Under worldly conditions and environments
5. Any location
Because of this, it is not surprising that the range of portable flow-based rapid assays for clinical, veterinary, agricultural, bio-defense and environmental applications continues to rapidly grow. Rapid tests of mention here include assays such as lateral, horizontal, vertical solution flow devices that can be used to detect virtually any compound on this planet.
A typical rapid test consists of the following components:
- Sample pad – an adsorbent pad onto which the test sample is applied.
- Colored Particles – these particles contain binders specific to the target analyte bound to colored particles (Gold nanoparticles). Attogene offers high quality, robust gold nanoparticles reagents for development of rapid assays.
- Reaction membrane – typically a nitrocellulose or cellulose acetate membrane onto which anti-target analyte binders are immobilized in a line that crosses the membrane to act as a capture zone or test line (a control zone will also be present, containing binders specific for the item associated to the colored particle).
- Wick or waste reservoir – a further absorbent pad designed to draw the sample across the reaction membrane by capillary action and collect it.
The components of the strip are usually fixed to an inert backing material and may be presented in a simple dipstick format or within a plastic casing with a sample port and reaction window showing the capture and control zones.