The inability to diagnose numerous diseases rapidly is a significant cause of the disparity of deaths resulting from both communicable and non-communicable diseases in the developing world in comparison to the developed world. Existing diagnostic instrumentation usually requires sophisticated infrastructure, stable electrical power, expensive reagents, long assay times, and highly trained personnel which is not often available in limited resource settings. This review will critically survey and analyse the current lateral flow-based point-of-care (POC) technologies, which have made a major impact on diagnostic testing in developing countries over the last 50 years. The future of POC technologies including the applications of microfluidics, which allows miniaturisation and integration of complex functions that facilitate their usage in limited resource settings, is discussed The advantages offered by such systems, including low cost, ruggedness and the capacity to generate accurate and reliable results rapidly, are well suited to the clinical and social settings of the developing world.
Dublin City University ->