Enhancement of lateral flow assay performance by electromagnetic relocation of reporter particles

Maria João Jacinto, João R.C. Trabuco, Binh V. Vu, Gavin Garvey, Mohammad Khodadady, Ana M. Azevedo, Maria Raquel Aires-Barros, Long Chang, Katerina Kourentzi, Dmitri Litvinov, Richard C. Willson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Lateral flow assays (LFAs) are a widely-used point-of care diagnostic format, but suffer from limited analytical sensitivity, especially when read by eye. It has recently been reported that LFA performance can be improved by using magnetic reporter particles and an external magnetic field applied at the test line. The mechanism of sensitivity/performance enhancement was suggested to be concentration/retardation of reporter particles at the test line. Here we demonstrate an additional mechanism of particle relocation where reporter particles from the lower depths of the translucent LFA strip relocate to more-visible locations nearer to the top surface, producing a more visible signal. With a magnetic field we observed an improvement in sensitivity of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) detection from 1.25 ng/mL to 0.31 ng/mL. We also observed an increase of the color intensity per particle in test lines when the magnetic field was present.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0186782
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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