POCT – Point-of-care Testing
POCT – Point-of-care testing is firmly established in many doctors’ offices, clinics and emergency rooms. Diagnostic laboratory tests are not conducted in a laboratory, but rather right next to the patient. The advantage is the fast availability of test results in order to make immediate treatment decisions.
Many point-of-care tests are designed as rapid tests based upon test strips used in conjunction with a measurement device, in which the manual effort for implementation is reduced to a minimum.
The specimen material is usually blood, serum/plasma, urine or saliva. The rapid test strip serves ideally as a lateral flow immunoassay to quantitatively determine analyte values, in most cases the concentration of antigens. The test strip consists of a membrane und multiple so-called “pads” which are encased in a plastic housing. A sample is applied to the test strip through an opening in the plastic casing, and seeps through the pad by means of capillary force. The concentration of analytes is ascertained on the basis of determining the color intensity of a test line arising from a color shift.
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