Development of quantitative radioactive methodologies on paper to determine important lateral-flow immunoassay parameters
The lateral-flow immunoassay (LFA) is a well-established diagnostic technology that has recently seen significant advancements due in part to the rapidly expanding fields of paper diagnostics and paper-fluidics. As LFA-based diagnostics become more complex, it becomes increasingly important to quantitatively determine important parameters during the design and evaluation process. However, current experimental methods for determining these parameters have certain limitations when applied to LFA systems. In this work, we describe our novel methods of combining paper and radioactive measurements to determine nanoprobe molarity, the number of antibodies per nanoprobe, and the forward and reverse rate constants for nanoprobe binding to immobilized target on the LFA test line. Using a model LFA system that detects for the presence of the protein transferrin (Tf), we demonstrate the application of our methods, which involve quantitative experimentation and mathematical modeling. We also compare the results of our rate constant experiments with traditional experiments to demonstrate how our methods more appropriately capture the influence of the LFA environment on the binding interaction. Our novel experimental approaches can therefore more efficiently guide the research process for LFA design, leading to more rapid advancement of the field of paper-based diagnostics.