Lateral flow (immuno)assay: its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. A literature survey

Anal Bioanal Chem. 2009 Jan;393(2):569-82. doi: 10.1007/s00216-008-2287-2. Epub 2008 Aug 13.


Lateral flow (immuno)assays are currently used for qualitative, semiquantitative and to some extent quantitative monitoring in resource-poor or non-laboratory environments. Applications include tests on pathogens, drugs, hormones and metabolites in biomedical, phytosanitary, veterinary, feed/food and environmental settings. We describe principles of current formats, applications, limitations and perspectives for quantitative monitoring. We illustrate the potentials and limitations of analysis with lateral flow (immuno)assays using a literature survey and a SWOT analysis (acronym for "strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats"). Articles referred to in this survey were searched for on MEDLINE, Scopus and in references of reviewed papers. Search terms included "immunochromatography", "sol particle immunoassay", "lateral flow immunoassay" and "dipstick assay".

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Enzymes / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunoassay / instrumentation
  • Immunoassay / methods*
  • Nucleic Acids / analysis
  • Proteins / analysis
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Enzymes
  • Nucleic Acids
  • Proteins