What is a Lateral Flow Test?
Lateral flow test became really popular since the starting of the pandemic and it is normally associated with COVID-19. There are different names in different countries to describe the same lateral flow test for example: LFT (lateral flow test), LFD (lateral flow device), LFA (lateral flow assay) and Rapid tests.
A Lateral Flow test is a simple to use diagnostic device used to confirm the presence or absence of a target analyte (biomarkers, pathogens) (1). A control line is present in the test to confirm the correct loading of the sample on the device. The test can be performed by professionals or a patient and can be perform safely at home without visiting a clinic/lab.
How Does the Lateral Flow Test work?
The main components of a lateral flow device are: nitrocellulose membrane, labelled beads and antibodies or other biomarkers to produce results (2).
The sample used for the detection is added to the sample pad. If the target is present, the immobilised conjugated antibodies and labels will bind to the target and continue to migrate along the test. A coloured line will form, and the density of the line will vary depending on the quantity of the target present. The sample will pass through the nitrocellulose membrane into the absorbent pad. The absorbent pad will absorb the excess sample.
There are two different types of lateral flow tests (2):
- SANDWICH ASSAYS: A positive test is represented by the presence of a coloured line at the test line position.
- COMPETITIVE ASSAYS: A positive test is represented by the absence of a coloured line at the test line position.
Different sample matrices can be used for the detection of the specific target (blood, saliva, urine, or serum). Some samples require running buffer to aid sample delivery, other samples may be able to be place directly onto a test.
Our Health tests are using whole blood samples and the lateral flow test is built using a sandwich assay in a housed cassette.
How can we help?
Here at Healthy Stuff we are providing you with five lateral flow technology home cassette devices (SAA, CEA, TSH, PSA and Ferritin) that you can use in the comfort of your home to check your health and act fast if necessary. Those tests can be used for the detection of early inflammation, cancer, and biochemical markers. We all know that it is really difficult since the start of the pandemic to seek the help you need. We are here to help you find the answers you need and with the help of your medical practitioner act quickly without any delays.
So, if you are looking to find some more answers about your health, we got what you need! Have a look at our website and start today your journey to find a better version of yourself!
Written by Dr Enzo Fornari, trained as Pharmaceutical Biotechnologist, with PhD qualification in Biophysics and surface analysis. Dr Enzo is employed by Healthy Stuff as a Scientific Researcher: validating our tests, researching new testing methods and ensuring best practice in the lab. You can check out his profile here.