2002 Volume 40 Issue 4 Pages 195-200
For the treatment of patients with allergic diseases, such as atopic dermatitis and asthma, the amount of allergens in the house of an individual patient has to be measured and controlled. Allergen-measuring devices currently in use are too large to bring into a patient's home. Accordingly, we have developed a portable allergen-measuring device that can quickly quantify the amount of Dermatophagoides mite allergens. The new device consists of a reaction tube, secondary antibody reagents, mark reagents, emission-color reagents, emission-color reaction-stoppage reagents, a washer, a photometer, and a timer. The antibody, which specifically binds to the Derf 1 protein in the Dermatophagoides farinae antigen, is attached to the inner surface of the reaction tube. The scattering filter is mounted between the LED and photodetector, and absorption of the specimens in the reaction tube can be measured immediately. The efficiency of the antibody attachment is improved by using a test tube with an uneven inner surface. The measurement of Dermatophagoides mite allergens can be completed in 12min. A Derf 1 concentration from 10 to 100ng/ml can be detected and quantified using this device, and there is a strong correlation between measurements made with our device and those obtained utilizing the conventional ELISA method. In this study, a portable, low-cost device for quantifying the amount of Dermatophagoides farinae antigen was developed. It can measure the amount of allergens in the homes of patients, and consequently contributing to an improvement in patients' living environments and their quality of life. The device can also be used as a tool for maintaining a healthy house environment because early detection of the existence of allergens can help prevent allergenic diseases.