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1. WO2020113127 - LATERAL FLOW ASSAY WITH CONTROLLED CONJUGATE AND CONTROLLED FLOW TIME

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[ EN ]

CLAIMS

WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A lateral flow assay device, comprising:

a conjugate pad configured to receive a quantity of fluid after a start of a test, wherein the conjugate pad is configured to move the fluid by capillary action;

a membrane comprising a test line for determining whether the fluid comprises a target analyte, wherein the membrane is configured to move the fluid by capillary action;

a shaft that is movable between a first position and a second position, the first position allowing the conjugate pad and the membrane to have no contact with each other, and the second position making the conjugate pad and the membrane to contact each other, wherein the shaft is configured to stay in the first position before the start of the test; and

a processor configured to:

receive a signal indicating the start of the test; and generate a plurality of signals causing the shaft to move a plurality of times between the first and second positions to control an amount of time that the fluid travels across the membrane.

2. The lateral flow assay device of claim 1, wherein the processor is configured to:

receive a conjugate time indicating an amount of time required for the fluid to remain on the conjugate pad prior to the conjugate pad making contact with the membrane; and

wherein the processor is configured to generate the plurality of signals causing the shaft to move between the first and second positions after determining that the conjugate time has elapsed since the start of the test.

3. The lateral flow assay device of claim 1 further comprising a spring configured to keep the conjugate pad and the membrane separate from each other, wherein the shaft in the second position applies a force to the spring causing the conjugate pad and the membrane to touch each other.

4. The lateral flow assay device of claim 1 further comprising a solenoid configured to move the shaft, wherein the plurality of signals generated by the processor comprises a first set of signals causing the solenoid to move the shaft to the first position, and wherein the plurality of signals generated by the processor comprises a second set of signals causing the solenoid to move the shaft to the second position.

5. The lateral flow assay device of claim 1 further comprising a servo motor configured to move the shaft, wherein the plurality of signals from the processor comprise a first set of signals causing the servo motor to move the shaft to the first position, and wherein the plurality of signals from the processor comprise a second set of signals causing the servo motor to move the shaft to the second position.

6. The lateral flow assay device of claim 1 further comprising a linear actuator configured to move the shaft, wherein the plurality of signals from the processor comprise a first set of signals causing the linear actuator to move the shaft to the first position, and wherein the plurality of signals from the processor comprise a second set of signals causing the linear actuator to move the shaft to the second position.

7. The lateral flow assay device of claim 1, wherein the shaft is a first shaft, the lateral flow assay device further comprising

a wicking pad; and

a second that is movable between a first position and a second position, the first position allowing the membrane and the wicking pad to have no contact with each other, and the second position making the membrane and the wicking pad to contact each other, wherein the second shaft is configured to stay in the first position before the start of the test;

wherein, in a third state of the lateral flow assay device, the lateral flow assay device is configured with a second removable gap between the wicking pad and the membrane, the second removable gap substantially filled with air and preventing the fluid from flowing from the membrane into the wicking pad; and

wherein the processor is configured to generate a plurality of signals causing the second shaft to move a plurality of times between the first and second positions to control an amount of time that the fluid travels from the membrane into the wicking pad.

8. The lateral flow assay device of claim 7 further comprising a spring configured to keep the membrane and the wicking pad separate from each other, wherein the second shaft in the second position applies a force to the spring causing the membrane and the wicking pad to touch each other.

9. The lateral flow assay device of claim 1, wherein the processor is configured to:

receive a value for a flow time, indicating a time for the fluid to move across the membrane;

based on the value of the flow time, determine a duration for the conjugate pad and the membrane to have contact with each other, a duration for the conjugate pad and the membrane to have no contact with each other, and a number of times to connect and disconnect the conjugate pad and the membrane; and

generate said plurality of signals to cause the shaft to move between the first and second positions by using the duration for the conjugate pad and the membrane to have contact with each other, the duration for the conjugate pad and the membrane to have no contact with each other, and the number of times to connect and disconnect the conjugate pad and the membrane.

10. The lateral flow assay device of claim 9, wherein the processor is configured to determine the duration for the conjugate pad and the membrane to have contact with each other, and the duration for the conjugate pad and the membrane to have no contact with each other by using experimental values stored in a one or more tables that map the duration for the conjugate pad and the membrane to have contact with each other, and the duration for the conjugate pad and the membrane to have no contact with each other to a set of flow times.

11. The lateral flow assay device of claim 10, wherein the second position of the shaft is adjustable to apply different pressure to make the conjugate pad and the membrane touch each other, wherein the experimental values stored in the one or more tables comprises values determined for a plurality of different positions of the shaft in said adjustable second position, and wherein the processor is configured to:

receive a specified position of the shaft in the second position; and select experimental values stored in said one or more tables that correspond to the specified position of the shaft.

12. The lateral flow assay device of claim 1, wherein the fluid is blood, the lateral flow assay device further comprising a plasma filter to separate blood plasma from red blood cells.

13. A lateral flow assay device, comprising:

a conjugate pad configured to receive a quantity of fluid after a start of a test, wherein the conjugate pad is configured to move the fluid by capillary action;

a membrane comprising a test line for determining whether the fluid comprises a target analyte, wherein the membrane is configured to move the fluid by capillary action;

a shaft that is movable between a first position and a second position, the first position allowing the conjugate pad and the membrane to have no contact with each other, and the second position making the conjugate pad and the membrane to contact each other, wherein the shaft is configured to stay in the first position before the start of the test; and

a processor configured to:

receive a signal indicating the start of the test; and receive a conjugate time indicating an amount of time required for the fluid to remain on the conjugate pad prior to the conjugate pad making contact with the membrane; and

generate a signal causing the shaft to move from the first position to the second position after determining that the conjugate time has elapsed since the start of the test.

14. The lateral flow assay device of claim 13 further comprising a spring configured to keep the conjugate pad and the membrane separate from each other, wherein the shaft in the second position applies a force to the spring causing the conjugate pad and the membrane to touch each other.

15. The lateral flow assay device of claim 13 further comprising a solenoid configured to move the shaft, wherein the signal generated by the processor causes the solenoid to move the shaft from the first position to the second position.

16. The lateral flow assay device of claim 13 further comprising a servo motor configured to move the shaft, wherein the signal generated by the processor causes the servo motor to move the shaft from the first position to the second position.

17. The lateral flow assay device of claim 13 further comprising a linear actuator configured to move the shaft, wherein the signal generated by the processor causes the linear actuator to move the shaft from the first position to the second position.

18. A lateral flow assay device, comprising:

a conjugate pad for receiving a quantity of fluid; and

a membrane comprising a test line for determining whether the fluid comprises a target analyte,

wherein, in a first state of the lateral flow assay device, the lateral flow assay device is configured with a removable gap between the conjugate pad and the membrane, the removable gap substantially filled with air and preventing the fluid from flowing from the conjugate pad into the membrane, and

wherein, in a second state of the lateral flow assay device, the removable gap is removed from between the conjugate pad and the membrane causing the conjugate pad to come in contact with the membrane and allowing the fluid to flow from the conjugate pad into the membrane and the test line by capillary action.

19. The lateral flow assay device of claim 18 further comprising:

a wicking pad,

wherein, in a third state of the lateral flow assay device, the lateral flow assay device is configured with a second removable gap between the wicking pad and the membrane, the second removable gap substantially filled with air and preventing the fluid from flowing from the membrane into the wicking pad, and

wherein, in a fourth state of the lateral flow assay device, the second gap is removed from between the membrane and the wicking pad causing the membrane to be connected to the wicking pad and allowing the fluid to flow from the membrane into the wicking pad by capillary action.

20. The lateral flow assay device of claim 18, wherein the removable gap is a first removable gap, and wherein the membrane is a first membrane, the lateral flow assay device further comprising:

a second membrane comprising a control line for determining whether the lateral flow assay device has successfully analyzed the fluid; and

wherein, in a third state of the lateral flow assay device, the lateral flow assay device is configured with a removable gap between the first and second membranes, the removable gap between the first and second membranes substantially filled with air and preventing the fluid from flowing from the first membrane into the second membrane; and

wherein, in a fourth state of the lateral flow assay device, the removable gap between the first and second membranes is removed causing the first and second membranes to come in contact with each other and allowing the fluid to flow from the first membrane into the second membrane and the control line by capillary action.