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6th June 2023  Content supplied by: Sartorius AG

The Emergence of Lateral Flow Assays in Diagnostics

How has the COVID-19 crisis changed our thinking about LFAs?
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the pregnancy test was the most prominent rapid test on the market. The SARS-COV-2 virus has changed that tremendously. The virus spread rapidly, making it necessary to produce a reliable and cheap tool to detect the virus at home.

The tool of choice was a well-established and well-known lateral flow assay (LFA) method. Big manufacturers had existing platforms that they could use, so the first Over-the-Counter Covid-19 rapid antigen tests were available in Autumn 2020. Since then, awareness of LFA has increased worldwide.

What makes LFAs so successful?

  • Fast and reliable results
  • Cheap compared to laboratory diagnostics
  • Readily available in drugstores and pharmacies
  • Easy to use as no special training is required
  • Can be used anywhere.

Why should you choose the Unisart® CN membranes?
Membrane manufacturing is one of Sartorius’ core technologies. The Unisart® CN membrane portfolio results from our experience and constantly strive to serve the diagnostic market’s needs best.

One of the primary qualities of our Unisart® CN membranes is the exceptional inter- and intra-lot consistency. Consistent membrane performance and the membranes’ homogenous structure and smooth surface guarantee reliable and reproducible test results. Our customers can rely on a highly motivated and experienced service, sales, and application specialist team.

What makes Unisart® CN 180 DX so special and for which kind of tests is it suitable?
Unisart® CN 180 DX is the newest member in the Unisart® CN membrane portfolio. It combines high protein binding capacity with superior sensitivity for critical applications, such as infectious diseases (e.g. HIV and malaria).

Due to the increased inner surface area of the membrane, more protein can be bound. The combination of increased protein binding and decreased capillary speed gives enhanced signal intensity.

What is the next generation of Unisart® CN membranes?
Sartorius has developed a new technology platform enabling multiplexing and leading to a multiparameter lateral flow strip: the Unisart StructSure® membrane. The innovative process allows the engraving of nitrocellulose membranes. Hydrophobic barriers separate the remaining nitrocellulose membrane channels from each other, preventing any overflow of liquid. Different patterns with various lanes can be created, leading to multiple reaction zones.

The advantage of Unisart StructSure® is the possibility to miniaturize the test and detect different targets from a single source simultaneously. This also reduces sample volume, e.g., liquor and tear fluid, compared to a single assay type.

Every membrane type of our Unisart® CN membrane portfolio can be used for multiplexing, giving us a high degree of flexibility to provide our customers with the most advanced and innovative solution.

About the Researcher
Hasret studied biochemistry at Goethe University in Frankfurt and completed her Ph.D. in Molecular Cell Biology. In 2017, she started as a scientist at Sartorius, a leading international partner for the biopharma sector, where she helped to develop membranes for venting applications. Since 2021, Hasret is responsible for the Unisart® CN Membrane portfolio as a product manager.

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Date Published: 6th June 2023

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