CPNs™ in lateral flow rapid diagnostics
The benefits of CPNs™ outlined above are also evident in lateral flow assays (4, 5). This includes their intense brightness when compared to alternative fluorophores (Figure 6 B), and the use of differently coloured CPNs™ in multiplexed lateral flow assays (Figure 6 A). As a result, CPNs™ offer several significant benefits over conventional fluorophores in lateral flow assays. These benefits can be further enhanced with the use of a reader device, detecting a positive signal from as few as 600 CPNs (Figure 4 A).
Lateral flow assays are often used in point-of-care diagnostics due to their ease-of-use and the rapid results they can provide (4, 6). In addition, they can produce high levels of accuracy from a robust, cost-effective, test, making them well-suited to widespread use outside of the lab. Based on their ability to enhance lateral flow assays and significantly increase sensitivity CPNs™ have prominent applications in rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs).
The use of CPNs™ in RDTs may play a role in responding to many current and future healthcare challenges. By linking CPNs™ to the appropriate antigen, virus detection is enabled. CPNs™ give a strong visible signal without a reader, but the incorporation of a reader device would facilitate PCR levels of sensitivity and quantitative results (Figure 4 A). In conjunction with a portable reader, CPN™-based viral diagnostics will achieve levels of sensitivity previously only possible within a lab. As discussed above, thanks to the unique properties of CPNs™, this technology will allow detection of low viral levels whilst being sufficiently robust and stable enough to be used at a variety of locations.
Work is currently underway to use this technology for a COVID-19 diagnostic test, identifying both symptomatic and asymptomatic carriers within ten minutes. In addition, the testing platform under development has the potential to detect other diseases, along with applications in agriculture and food testing.
As a result of their properties, CPNs™ can deliver enhanced sensitivity, improved stability and rapid, reliable results across a range of life science assays, including lateral flow and western blot. This innovative technology will not only provide benefits in the lab, but will allow the development of portable, point-of-care rapid diagnostic tests to help meet current and future healthcare needs. CPNs™ have the power to enhance the field of rapid diagnostics, providing clear improvements over what is currently available.
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