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Template Matching Method for Peak Separation from the Scanned Signals of Lateral Flow Strips

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Lateral flow strips are commonly used for point-of-care diagnosis because they do not need trained personnel and expensive equipment. The target analyte can be quantified by analyzing the scanned signal using a strip reader. The control ligand is commonly added to approximate non-specific binding or to check the target existence, resulting in two distinguishable peaks in the scanned signal: one for the target analyte and one for the control ligand. The background of the scanned signal is usually neither uniform nor stationary; therefore the peaks will not be identified by a simple threshold. The peak regions can be detected by the signal derivatives along the scan line because its absolute value implies the peak's start or end. However the threshold of the derivatives should be adjusted for each batch of the strips. This paper presents a template matching method for locating the signal peaks, where the template is composed of two pulses separated by the same distance between the control and the target ligand line in the strip. This relationship is allowed because the distance between application nozzles for the ligands is constant. The template is convolved with the scanned signal to deliver the maximum response at the center of the two peaks, and with their predefined distance and width, the peak region is identified. Commercial glycated hemoglobin immunoassay strips were tested to demonstrate the method. The fluorescent strip readers were employed to obtain the raw signals. The production batch variations of the concentration measurands was compared with that of the existing algorithm. The proposed method delivered stable measurands without any parameter calibration for each batch.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-05-01

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