Sunday, October 17, 2021

What is a lateral flow test and how does the technology work?

There are various testing or diagnostic methods to detect Covid-19. Rapid lateral flow test is one of them and frequently used in the UK for screening purposes.

According to UK’s National Health Service (NHS), “the test for people without symptoms of Covid-19 is called a rapid lateral flow test”.

Basically, it is a simple to use diagnostic device used to confirm the presence or absence of a target analyte, such as pathogens or biomarkers in humans or animals, or contaminants in water supplies, foodstuffs, or animal feeds. The most commonly known type of lateral flow rapid test strip is the pregnancy test.

LFDs use immunoassay technology using nitrocellulose membrane, coloured nanoparticles (or labels), and typically antibodies, to produce results.

When a sample is added, the sample will flow along the test device passing through the conjugate pad into the nitrocellulose membrane and then onto the absorbent pad.

How lateral flow test is done?

The process is same as several other diagnostic tests for Covid-19. It involves rubbing swab, a long cotton bud, over the tonsils or inside the nose.

How much time it takes to give result?

It takes only a few minutes, much like a pregnancy test. It is done by using a device similar to a pregnancy test.

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