Multiplex Lateral-Flow Assays for personalized Medicine
Diagnostic tests can either be done extensively in a lab, or on site using rapid tests (patient-side lab diagnostics). The advantage of the rapid tests is that the results are delivered within a few minutes as a complex sample preparation is not necessary. Applications of diagnostic rapid tests are pregnancy tests or the blood sugar tests for diabetics which are used at home, but also quality controls in the foodstuffs and animal feedstuffs industries.
The scientists at Furtwangen University and their cooperation partners (The University of Tübingen and R-Biopharm AG) are working with "Lateral Flow Assays" (LF tests), which are especially suitable for rapid tests due to their robustness. In this process the analyt which is to be tested is immobilized on a test strip, marked with a nanoparticle and is thus visible as a signal line for the user (e.g. in the pregnancy test). LF tests are usually qualitative tests (e.g. signal line yes/no). By using "coloured" nanoparticles which are connected to the antibodies, LF tests can also be used for quantitative analysis. In doing so the intensity of the colour of the signal line is photometrically analyzed and the intensity is converted into a concentration using statistical models.
In this project, the information content of a signal line will be tripled by using an intelligent colour mix of, for example, 3 colours (red, green, blue). A standard LF test, in which up to 4 test lines plus a control line are possible, could thus recognize up to 12 analytes in parallel. One of the challenges of the new systems lies in the molecular design, in the analysis and thus the reliable quantitive execution of such simultaneous identification. With the new quantitative multiplex testing process, not only can more content substances in a sample be recorded, but also precise information regarding its concentration.
Furtwangen University (project coordination)
University of Tübingen
Duration: 3 years, 2015 - 2017
The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) through the FHprofUnt funding stream (FKZ 03FH046PX4).