NanoSuit Inc. is developing a high-sensitivity inspection method by electron microscope observation of immunochromatography by applying NanoSuit technology.
The immunochromatography includes metal nanoparticles coated with an antibody (primary antibody) to the detection target antigen as marker particles. When the sample contains the target antigen, the metal nanoparticles are trapped by another antibody (secondary antibody) and accumulated on the determination line to obtain visible coloring.
However, if there are few metal nanoparticles trapped on the positive judgment line, we cannot visually detect a small amount of metal colloidal particles and make a negative judgment (false negative). For this reason, the sensitivity of immunochromatography is generally considered to be lower than that of PCR with gene amplification. On the other hand, immunochromatography does not include any amplification process, so it has the advantage of high specificity.
(NanoSuit immunochromatography method; hundreds of times more sensitive)
Using NanoSuit technology, immunochromatographic metal nanoparticles are directly observed with a scanning electron microscope. As a result, inspection can be performed with a sensitivity several hundred times higher than visual judgment. Unlike PCR, this method does not involve an amplification process, so it has the advantage of being able to test with high specificity and sensitivity.
(Development of inspection equipment)
NanoSuit Inc. is developing a small and simple device dedicated to this method. A compact device based on the mechanism of a scanning electron microscope achieves rapid inspection in about 1.5 minutes. The photos below are the prototype devices.
We are also developing an image processing system that automatically counts metal nanoparticles from the obtained images.