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Major Breakthrough in Lateral Flow Test Design

Product News

25 Jul 2023

Gemina Labs announces major breakthrough in environmentally friendly lateral flow test design by removing the requirement for nitrocellulose


News Release

July 25, 2023


July 25, 2023, Vancouver, British Columbia: 

Gemina Laboratories Ltd. is excited to announce another major innovation in lateral flow assay (“LFA”) test design resulting from its innovative, patented Gemina Bridge chemistry platform.   Gemina Labs has deployed cellulose (paper) test strips in the lateral flow assay format, a fully biodegradable, environmentally friendly alternative to the industry-standard nitrocellulose strip.

Nitrocellulose as the LFA Standard

For the nearly 40-year history of the lateral flow assay industry, the lateral flow test strip has been made from nitrocellulose. Developed in the 1800’s, nitrocellulose is formed by treating cellulose with a mixture of nitric and sulfuric acids to produce a flammable compound that only degrades slowly in the environment, releasing nitric acid in the process.

Despite the harsh conditions and environmental impacts of nitrocellulose production, the compound is well suited to lateral flow assay development due in part, to the uniformity of the nitrocellulose pore structure, and to the binding affinity between nitrocellulose and the antibodies used in the lateral flow immunoassay format.

Cellulose as a New Standard - A Critical Breakthrough for Fully Biodegradable LFA Tests

In comparison to nitrocellulose, cellulose (paper) is derived from plant cells (cotton, wood, hemp, etc.). It is the most abundant natural polymer on Earth and is rapidly biodegraded in the environment. Unfortunately, cellulose also has a much lower binding affinity for antibodies, meaning they cannot be reliably adhered onto to the test and control lines, a critical challenge to LFA development on cellulose that has ensured nitrocellulose remained the leading choice of test strip material for 40 years.

Billions of lateral flow assays were used during the COVID-19 pandemic, many of which were self-administered by untrained users outside of a healthcare setting, resulting in a correlative rise in the amount of LFA waste in landfills. This inspired the development and deployment of paper-based alternatives to the plastic housing used for LFA tests. While this innovation is an important first step towards a biodegradable assay, these assays still house nitrocellulose testing strips, which do not allow for full biodegradability.

The Gemina team has solved this critical challenge by utilizing the Gemina Bridge molecule to anchor antibodies (and other biomolecules) to test strips made from a variety of cellulose materials, all of which are fully biodegradable alternatives to nitrocellulose.

One end of the Gemina Bridge binds strongly and irreversibly to the cellulose strip while the other end binds an antibody, which is used to capture the target of interest for which the test has been designed (pregnancy, infection, etc.). In addition to facilitating antibody binding to cellulose, the oriented binding imparted by the Gemina Bridge also reduces antibody requirements by up to 85%, another major breakthrough, as previously reported by Gemina.

The experimental results documenting these achievements are being presented at the 2023 American Association for Clinical Chemistry (“AACC”) Annual Scientific Meeting Poster Session in Anaheim, California on Tuesday, July 25th with the authors in attendance on Tuesday, July 25th between 1:30 pm and 2:30 pm. The poster will also be available on the Gemina website as of Wednesday, July 26th and will also be published in a supplementary issue of AACC’s Clinical Chemistry Journal.

Robert Greene, CTO of Gemina Labs stated, “We have been working towards this goal since we first built the Gemina Bridge, as the Bridge is designed with the capacity to bind to both cellulose and nitrocellulose. I am extremely pleased to see the experimental results prove the intention and potential of our design. We believe this breakthrough will not only allow for innovation in LFA design and deployment moving forward, but will allow for fully biodegradable LFA’s, solving the environmental challenge currently presented by the use of nitrocellulose."

Brian Firth, CEO of Gemina Labs added, “In addition to Gemina’s commitment to global health, we have been keenly committed to environmental sustainability in our chemistry design – trying to unlock the vast potential for quick, simple, affordable diagnostics at the point of care, but in a way that both addresses global health needs and environmental sustainability. We believe we will lead on both fronts, as this announcement signals a major development milestone for the world’s first fully biodegradable lateral flow assay design.”

On Behalf of the Board of Directors

Robert Greene


Gemina Laboratories Ltd.

About Gemina Laboratories Ltd.

Gemina Labs is a biosensor and diagnostic company with a transformative, patented, proprietary chemistry that powers next-generation testing platforms for a wide range of pathogens that affect human health and wellness. Our technology drives testing platforms that are fast, affordable and accurate, and easily self-administered. Our development pipeline includes platforms for the rapid testing of COVID-19, influenza and other viruses. Additional information on the Company can be found at

Neither the Canadian Securities Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the Canadian Securities Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this Release.


Forward Looking Statements

This news release includes forward-looking information and statements, which may include, but are not limited to, information and statements regarding or inferring the future business, operations, financial performance, prospects, and other plans, intentions, expectations, estimates, and beliefs of the Company. Such statements include statements regarding the anticipated terms of any proposed transaction or engagement. Information and statements which are not purely historical fact are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking information and statements involve and are subject to assumptions and known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause actual events, results, performance, or achievements of the Company to be materially different from future events, results, performance, and achievements expressed or implied by forward-looking information and statements herein. Although the Company believes that any forward-looking information and statements herein are reasonable, in light of the use of assumptions and the significant risks and uncertainties inherent in such information and statements, there can be no assurance that any such forward-looking information and statements will prove to be accurate, and accordingly readers are advised to rely on their own evaluation of such risks and uncertainties and should not place undue reliance upon such forward-looking information and statements. Furthermore, the Company is presently unable to fully quantify the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic will have on its operations and recognizes that certain eventualities may affect planned or assumed performance moving forward. As such, any forward-looking information and statements herein are made as of the date hereof, and except as required by applicable laws, the Company assumes no obligation and disclaims any intention to update or revise any forward-looking information and statements herein or to update the reasons that actual events or results could or do differ from those projected in any forward looking information and statements herein, whether as a result of new information, future events or results, or otherwise, except as required by applicable laws. 

For more information regarding the Company, please contact:


Glen Axelrod

Bristol Capital Limited

Telephone: 905 326 1888


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