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Fluorescence-encoded Poly (methyl metharcylate) nanoparticles for a lateral flow assay detecting IgM autoantibodies in rheumatoid arthritis
Schmidt, C., Borcherding, H., Thiele, T., Schedler, U., Werner, F., Rödiger, S., ... & Schierack, P.
Rheumatoid arthritis, Rheumatoid factor, poly(methyl methacrylate) nanoparticles, PMMA nanobeads, Lateral flow assay, Fluorescence detection
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) belongs to the most often occurring autoimmune diseases in the world. For serological diagnosis, IgM auto-antibodies directed against the Fc portion of IgG referred to as rheumatoid factor are used as biomarkers. The autoantibody detection is usually done by ELISA. Such assays are reliable but are not suitable for point-of-care testing in contrast to lateral flow assays. Here, we report the development of a lateral flow assay based on carboxylated fluorescence-encoded poly(methyl methacrylate) nanoparticles. Poly(methyl methacrylate) is a non-toxic plastic with an excellent biocompatibility and high optical transparency which promises especially high sensitive fluorescence detection thereby leading to very sensitive assays. We could detect a positive signal in samples with a nephelometric reading down to 0.4 U/mL. By analyzing 30 sera of patients with a RA diagnosis and 34 sera of healthy test subjects we could confirm positive ELISA results in 72% of all cases and negative ELISA results in 97% of all cases.