By Natalie Schlage, Strategic Marketing Manager – Diagnostics, Porex
When it comes to life-changing tests, the accuracy of the results is non-negotiable. Every year millions of women rely on home pregnancy tests to deliver potentially life altering news. In fact, according to Statistica, 8.8 million women in the United States used a home pregnancy test in 2019. Although most home pregnancy tests claim to be up to 99 percent accurate research over the past decade has called into question this reliability. For prospective new moms and their partners relying on home pregnancy tests, receiving a false result could have a detrimental impact on the lives of all involved.
Many factors can impact the accuracy of a pregnancy test including challenges with sample collection and media chemistries and properties that sometimes lack the sensitivity and specificity to yield correct results. Because consumers rely on manufacturers to live up to the promise of accuracy, manufacturers cannot compromise on the quality of components to produce the best outcome. It is critical that manufacturers consider the materials that are used in a pregnancy test for the benefit of their consumers, and ultimately for the integrity of their brand.
Taking a Closer Look: Wicking Material
In a pregnancy test, one of the most critical components to ensuring accuracy is the wick. Located at the exterior of a test stick, the wick collects urine from a stream or container and transfers it via a lateral flow to a “reaction zone” within the test stick. The reaction zone refers to the media, which have been coated with proprietary antibodies that capture the hCG hormone and respond by changing color. This provides a visible indication that hCG has been detected.
The wick can mean the difference between a negative or positive result so when there are obstacles with wicking, it can lead to false readings. For one, wicking media may lack the capillary structure for optimal absorption and delivery to test sites. In some cases, the sample amount may not be enough, and insufficient capillary action fails to deliver the sample to the testing site. In other instances, too much sample fluid can flood the testing site, leading to a test failure. Ultimately, subpar wicking materials that are incapable of handling such instances, threaten reliability and effectiveness of the test.
Porous Polymer Wicks: Unmatched Reliability
Porous polymer media with precise capillary structure optimizes wicking, absorption and flow in pregnancy tests. This results in controlled delivery to the test site and ultimately delivers a more accurate reading. When engineered to the highest quality control standards, these wicks manage sample flow quickly and efficiently, which allows for greater test specificity while speeding test results.
Porex offers advanced materials in polyethylene, polypropylene and porous polymeric fiber for use in mid-stream, cassette and strip pregnancy tests. Optimized to counter an excess amount of urine that lead to test errors, Porex wicks deliver the correct amount of sample at the right speed to improve result sensitivity and specificity.
Porex has also developed a proprietary color-changing technology that provides method assurance and offers consumers a precise visible indication of test results. The methodology assurance and sample indication technologies offered by Porex include visual and physical indicator options that are engineered to meet specific test requirements.
No Room for Error: Porex Expertise
When it comes to pregnancy tests, consumers expect and demand accuracy. Allowing subpar materials to compromise the efficacy of results not only risks a brand’s reputation, it can have disastrous results for consumers who depend on them. Porous polymer technologies from Porex offer consumers and manufacturers faster and more precise test results. Learn more about Porex’s extensive line of porous polymer materials at www.porex.com.
Sponsored content by Porex