Background: Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a multifunctional cytokine that plays a crucial role not only in the immune system but also in numerous biological processes. Elevated IL-6 levels have been observed in many types of cancer and inflammatory diseases. Among the techniques that have been used to quantify IL-6, a Lateral Flow Assay (LFA) is one of the most promising.
Objective: The objective of this study was to perform a technological and scientific exploration of the development of an LFA for IL-6.
Method: The Instituto Nacional de Propriedade Industrial-INPI (Brazil), European Patent Office – Espacenet, and United States Patent and Trademark Office-USPTO were used for the technological prospection to consider all the patents regarding an LFA for IL-6 detection. For the scientific investigation, the following periodic databases were used: Web of Science, Science Direct, PubMed, and Scielo, and were monitored from 2007 to May 2017.
Results: We found no patents based on the searched keywords, and a limited number of scientific articles were found. Therefore, the development of an LFA sensor for the detection of IL-6 appears to be innovative with significant biotechnological importance, creating a technology transfer to promote economic and industrial growth.
Conclusion: The development of lateral flow immunosensors for IL-6 is innovative, as we could not find patents describing such a biosensor. Scientific prospection reported two lateral flow immunosensors. However, the test for IL-6 cannot be completed without using some kind of equipment for detection, such as the one we propose in future developments.