National Physical Laboratory

Lateral Flow Assay Development Measurement Services

Lateral flow assays are designed to detect the presence of a target analyte in a sample, such as blood, serum or urine using antibodies. A typical test strip consists of chemical reagents deposited on microporous membranes, laminated onto a semi-rigid plastic backing material that is then placed inside a plastic enclosure. Upon applying a sample to the test strip the analyte of interest binds to an antibody-gold conjugate and flows along the membrane where it encounters a second antibody molecule. At this point the gold conjugates are captured resulting in the formation of a coloured line.

  • Within the Biotechnology group at NPL we can provide services to develop and validate lateral flow assays. This includes the preparation and characterisation of antibody-gold conjugates for optimal bioactivity.

  • We also have in-house facilities for batch dispensing of materials onto membranes and the assembly of strips.

  • We can offer preliminary development of lateral flow assays through ‘wet assay’ evaluation.

Collaborations are also possible for quantitative measurements of the test line on the lateral flow strips through the development and calibration of digital readers. Such quantitative measurements can reduce ambiguity in interpretation of the coloured line, and help optimise test designs and manufacturing processes. At present we are in the process of developing a method for establishing a line of traceability between clinical laboratory derived results and POC devices.


Customer Service tel: +44 20 8943 8637

Last Updated: 18 Aug 2015
Created: 7 May 2009


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