Thermal Contrast Reader for Lateral Flow Assay (20110119, Dr. John Bischof)

Technology No. 20110119

Improved Lateral Flow Assay Reader

With the importance of screening for diseases increasing, this technology introduces a thermal assay technique designed to outperform current methods in the detection of nanoparticles and other exogenous or endogenous particles within biological systems such as media, cells and tissues. This thermal assay technique has demonstrated a more than 32-fold improvement in sensitivity in detecting analytes in lateral flow assay strips when compared to visual inspection methods. With those results, the necessity of more complicated lab procedures like latex agglutination and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay methods may be reduced. The thermal contrast reader for lateral flow assays (LFA) cuts down on time and costs, increasing the value of this thermal assay technique.

Note: The Improved Lateral Flow Assay Reader technology has been exclusively licensed. If you have questions, please contact the University of Minnesota's Office for Technology Commercialization.

More Efficient than ELISA

Current techniques to characterize the uptake of nanoparticles and exogenous additives in biological systems are expensive, labor intensive, and time consuming. The new thermal assay technique could replace common assays such as ELISA, AES, or ISP-MS with reduced cost and increased speed. Nanoparticles and other exogenous agents are being increasingly used in diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. This technique takes advantage of the heat generation of those nanoparticles along with other exogenous particles and additives that generate thermal contrast. This allows for fast and inexpensive quantification of the amount and location within biological systems.


  • Potential for gains in detection limit of upward of 10,000 times
  • Applicable to a wide range of LFA substrates, nanoparticle compositions and geometries
  • Non-destructive test
  • Reduces cost and labor
  • Sensitivity similar to ELISA assays
  • Handheld reader for point of care testing

Patent Protection
US Patent Application 20140377770

John C. Bischof, PhD
Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering
External Link (

  • swap_vertical_circlelibrary_booksReferences (0)
  • swap_vertical_circlecloud_downloadSupporting documents (0)
    Additional files may be available once you've completed the transaction for this product. If you've already done so, please log into your account and visit My account / Downloads section to view them.
Questions about this technology?