Lateral flow immunoassays (LFIA) and microfluidic paper based analytical devices (μPADs) represent a group of portable and autonomous devices for the rapid and simple detection of various biochemical indicators of pathogens and diseases. In addition to health applications, the use of LFIAs and μPADs extend to environmental, phytosanitary and bromatological control, among other fields. The development and optimization of new LFIA and μPAD devices implies significant experimental efforts given the need to explore designs, characterize the materials used as a substrate, control the kinetic parameters, improve the sensitivity of detection and finally the integration of these aspects to achieve a better overall performance of the device.
In this context, having tools to reduce costs and experimentation times is a key aspect for the effective implementation of the technology in the country. Also, new designs require a comprehensive understanding of all the bio-physical-chemical phenomena involved. Thus, the development of numerical prototypes to efficiently simulate new LFIA and μPAD designs is very useful.
One such tool is Fronts
, a numerical library that can solve the Richards equation of flow in porous media in cases of lateral flow. The tool, developed members of our group, is fully available as open source software.
In this line of research, we develop the fundamentals, the mathematical models and their numerical implementation required for the LFIA and μPAD simulation.