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Developing a lateral flow immunoassay for monitoring anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in plasma

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posted on 2022-11-16, 02:33 authored by Laura Rey Gomez

COVID-19 is caused by the highly contagious severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pathogen, a novel β-coronavirus. When first detected in 2019, there were limited diagnostic tests and treatment options, making disease management challenging. By mid-2021, serological assays were being developed to detect antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, which are typically linked to present or past infection. Conventional assays such as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs), neutralising antibody assays, and chemiluminescent immunoassays (CLIAs) were primarily being used for disease tracking, but these can be expensive, time-consuming, and labour-intensive. Alternatively, lateral flow immunoassays (LFIAs) are adaptable, rapid, and require minimal sample preparation or lab equipment. Therefore, this project aimed to develop an adaptable gold nanoparticle-based barcode-style LFIA to rapidly and affordably screen plasma for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies to distinguish between antibody levels in different individuals. Various gold nanoparticle sizes, conjugation strategies, and membranes were explored to obtain the most optimal LFIA configuration. This proof-of-concept design was tested using pre- and post-COVID-19 plasma samples obtained from the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood. Ultimately, this LFIA technology may be adapted in the future to conduct large scale screen of other pathogens, potentially advance emerging technology in multiplexed LFIA design or measure varying concentrations of different analytes.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction -- Chapter 2: Advancements of lateral flow immunoassays as serological tests for detection of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies -- Chapter 3: Materials and methods -- Chapter 4: Results and discussion -- Chapter 5: Conclusions and perspectives -- Chapter 6: Future works -- References -- Appendices


A thesis submitted to Macquarie University for the degree of Master of Research

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


Thesis MRes, Macquarie University, Department of Natural Sciences, 2022

Department, Centre or School

Department of Natural Sciences

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Yuling Wang

Additional Supervisor 1

Rena Hirani

Additional Supervisor 2

Andrew Care


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