The assignee for this patent, patent number 8507259, is
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "This invention relates broadly to immunoassay devices and the methods for their use. More particularly, this invention relates to chromatographic rapid test strips for detection of a ligand in a body fluid.
"Many types of ligand-receptor assays have been used to detect the presence of various substances, often generally called ligands, in body fluids such as blood, urine, or saliva. These assays involve antigen antibody reactions, synthetic conjugates comprising radioactive, enzymatic, fluorescent, or visually observable polystyrene or metal sol tags, and specially designed reactor chambers. In all these assays, there is a receptor, e.g., an antibody, which is specific for the selected ligand or antigen, and a means for detecting the presence, and in some cases the amount, of the ligand-receptor reaction product. Some tests are designed to make a quantitative determination, but in many circumstances all that is required is a positive/negative qualitative indication. Examples of such qualitative assays include blood typing, most types of urinalysis, pregnancy tests, and AIDS tests. For these tests, a visually observable indicator such as the presence of agglutination or a color change is preferred.
"Even the qualitative assays must be very sensitive because of the often small concentration of the ligand of interest in the test fluid. False positives can also be troublesome, particularly with agglutination and other rapid detection methods such as dipstick and color change tests. Because of these problems, so-called 'sandwich' assays and other sensitive detection mechanisms which use metal sols or other types of colored particles have been developed.
"In a 'sandwich' assay, a target analyte such as an antigen is 'sandwiched' between a labeled antibody and an antibody immobilized onto a solid support. The assay is read by observing the presence and/or amount of bound antigen-labeled antibody complex. In a 'competition' immunoassay, antibody bound to a solid surface is contacted with a sample containing an unknown quantity of antigen analyte and with labeled antigen of the same type. The amount of labeled antigen bound on the solid surface is then determined to provide an indirect measure of the amount of antigen analyte in the sample.
"Because these and other assays can detect both antibodies and antigens, they are generally referred to as immunochemical ligand-receptor assays or simply immunoassays.
"Solid phase immunoassay devices, whether of the sandwich or competition type, provide sensitive detection of an analyte in a biological fluid sample such as blood, urine, or saliva. Solid phase immunoassay devices incorporate a solid support to which one member of a ligand-receptor pair, usually an antibody, antigen, or hapten, is bound. Common early forms of solid supports were plates, tubes, or beads of polystyrene which were well known from the fields of radioimmunoassay and enzyme immunoassay. In the last decade, a number of porous materials such as nylon, nitrocellulose, cellulose acetate, glass fibers, and other porous polymers have been employed as solid supports.
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