In diagnostics applications and mainly Lateral Flow Immuno Assay (LFIA), very different biological samples (like saliva, urine, serum, blood) can be used, provided that the analytes are present in quantity high enough to be detected.
Most of gold-standard tests for disease detection are based on whole blood samples. However, the presence of cells and platelets can interfere with the elution of the sample through the test strip, leading to false negative or false positive results.
To address this issue, sample pads with mechanical or chemical affinity to plasma can be used to facilitate the elution of the sample through the test strip by retaining the cells and platelets. These sample pads can absorb the plasma and leave the cells and platelets behind, allowing the sample to flow through the rest of the test strip without interference.
Additionally, the release of hemoglobin from red blood cells can interfere with the reading of the results, as it may produce background noise or interfere with the colorimetric detection system used in LFIA. To mitigate this effect, it is quite important to select the right material according to the specific conditions of the test.
Overall, the use of appropriate sample preparation techniques and sample pads can improve the performance of LFIA tests using whole blood samples, enabling remote and rapid diagnosis of diseases and other applications.
Hereafter, an optimization research study performed by OPERON is reported as an example of the methodology to follow for determining the optimal blood separation pad for a particular system of detection.
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