FLU OIA, optical immunoassay for the detection of influenza A and B

Made by Thermo Electron Corporation in Ohio, United States of America, 2004.

This kit can detect influenza A and B viruses on a nasal swab in 15 minutes. Before 1998, when the kit was co-developed by Biota in Australia and Thermo in the USA, the best method took a fortnight. A drop of sample, prepared by treating the swab with a series of reagents, is placed on a silicon chip coated with a thin film containing flu antibodies. Any influenza A or B antigens in the sample lock onto the antibodies, thickening the film on the chip and changing its colour.

Debbie Rudder

FLU ...


Object No.


Physical Description

The FLU OIA is a kit containing immobilised antibodies that capture specific antigens (proteins) of the influenza virus. If the antigens are present a coloured reaction occurs. The kit is presented in a cardboard box with pictorial directions for use built into the sleeve of the box. The top of the box is multicoloured and carries a picture of a woman grimacing as if she has the flu. On one side all of the contents are listed along with information in 4 languages: French, German, Spanish and Italian.

The kit contains: Sample Diluent - sodium chloride solution; Reagent 1 - Buffer solution containing surfactant and reducing agent; Reagent 2 - Buffer solution containing surfactant and stabilising proteins; Wash - Phosphate buffer solution containing surfactant; Substrate - Tetramethylbenzidine and hydrogen peroxide solution; Positive control - Formaldehyde-inactivated influenza A virus (AHong Kong/68 H3N2) suspension in a buffered protein solution; Negative control - Buffered saline solution; Test devices, packaged in plastic - coated with a mixture of anti-influenza A and B antibodies (mouse); 31 plastic extraction tubes; 31 plastic transfer pipettes; 30 rayon-tipped swabs on plastic shafts, plus one empty packet; 1 clear plastic stand designed to hold reagents and extraction tubes during a test.



85 mm


220 mm


215 mm



The FLU OIA - Influenza diagnostic test kit was developed jointly by Biota Holdings and the US company, Thermo Electron. It was launched in the USA in December 1998.

This kit was produced in the USA by Thermo Electron Corporation. In the USA it is manufactured and marketed by Thermo Electron. Biota holds the marketing and distribution rights outside the USA and its major distributors are Daiichi Pure Chemical Co., Ltd in Japan and Dade Behring in Australia.


Thermo Electron Corporation 2004


Biota Holdings 1998


Credit Line

Gift of Biota Holdings, 2004

Acquisition Date

16 June, 2005

Cite this Object


FLU OIA, optical immunoassay for the detection of influenza A and B 2016, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 24 January 2018, <https://ma.as/331289>


{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/331289 |title=FLU OIA, optical immunoassay for the detection of influenza A and B |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=24 January 2018 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
This object is currently on display in Recollect: Health & Medicine at the Powerhouse Museum.

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