The Point-of-Care (POC) in vitro diagnostic (IVD) market is continuing to grow, with speculation that IVD could become the leading niche in the medical device industry by 2020 with more than $65 billion in sales. POC testing is supported by continuous technology improvements and the recognition that rapid test results offer economic benefits and potential patient benefits due to faster turn-a-round of testing results.

An increasing number of POC device manufacturers are recognizing the value of easily incorporating burst and frangible seal reagent blister reservoirs into Lateral Flow and Lab-on-a-Chip/Card formats, providing significant cost savings as an alternative to the conventional eyedropper and bottled reagent systems with an added reassurance of test reliability. By integrating frangible seal technology into on-board reagent blisters of POC devices, the device manufacturer is able to better control performance variability, reduce overall manufacturing and disposal costs, and simplify the end-user experience.

The incorporation of on-board reagent blisters represents a new vision for improving the performance of POC devices while at the same time reducing cost and offering a safe and reliable method for dispensing unit-of-measure volumes.  With some upfront consideration of the system dynamics, custom blister designs can be optimized and applied to an entire testing platform, thereby lowering costs across the entire product family.

In order to successfully integrate frangible seal technology, it is critical that frangible seal manufacturers consider the specific requirements of every custom blister reservoir and design a blister solution that considers material compatibility, burst characteristics, reagent volume delivered, and long-term storage requirements. There are many different types of materials that can be used for reagent blisters and generally can be described as specialized foils and laminates used for cold- and thermo-formed packaging.  These materials have various thicknesses and seal strengths that can be customized for use in pierced or burst applications, as well as peel-able and hybrid peel-push barriers.