Steven Steiner Consulting Company Logo

Consulting Services

Bringing ideas and partners together

Are you struggling to Navigate the Complex World of Lateral Flow Tests?

Meet Your Guide to Diagnostic Success: Dr. Steven Steiner. Navigating the complex world of diagnostics can be overwhelming, but you don't have to go it alone. With a PhD in Analytical Chemistry and specialized expertise in Protein Chemistry, Nano- and Microparticles, and Lateral Flow Tests, I've dedicated my career to mastering the intricacies of diagnostic test development. My mission? To provide you with tailored solutions and strategic guidance that turn your challenges into triumphs. Together, we'll pave your path to industry success. 

Unlock the power of strategic discussions to drive informed decision-making.

I offer

  • comprehensive assessments,
  • analysis,
  • and strategic recommendations

to optimize your idea, product or manufacturing process to achieve your business objectives.

Gain valuable insights to custom development and contract manufacturing.

I provide

  • in-depth expertise,

  • issue identification,

  • and actionable recommendations

to help you make evidence-based decisions and improve your business outcomes.

I can be your "translator" when it comes to discussions with your material-, development service- or manufacturing service provider 

Forge collaborative partnerships for your business success.

I work closely with reknowned service providers

  • to enable expert guidance,
  • and support you throughout the diagnostic development and manufacturing process.

  • Together, we can achieve optimal outcomes and drive innovation.

I can make the connection to the right suppliers and potential partners for you.

As your sparring partner, I provide strategic navigation for your diagnostic endeavors.


  • we explore diverse perspectives,
  • challenge assumptions, 
  • and chart innovative paths.

Let's collaborate to steer your diagnostic initiatives towards optimal outcomes.

What to expect? | Your customer journey

Customer Journy @ Steven Steiner Consulting -

Take the next step

About me

Analytical Chemist | Diagnostic Product Development | Project Management


As a freelance consultant specializing in diagnostics, I bring a wealth of expertise and experience to drive success in the industry. With a strong background in Analytical Chemistry (PhD), Protein Chemistry, Nano- and Microparticles and Lateral Flow Tests, I have honed my skills in development and manufacturing of diagnostic test.

Over the years, I have built a solid reputation for delivering tailored solutions and strategic guidance to customers.

Education | Experience

  • 10+ years of experience in developing and manufacturing diagnostic products and components. 

  • Analytical Chemist by education with a strong background in

nanoparticle synthesis, surface coating, and luminescence assays.

  • Latest role: Director of Contract Manufacturing Diagnostic Raw Materials at a SME.

Coordinated complex projects with international partners.

Led cross-functional teams in R&D, Product Development, and Production.


  • Project management.
  • Stakeholder engagement.
  • Problem-solving.
  • Proven track record of improving manufacturing processes, reducing costs, and increasing customer satisfaction.
  • Specialization: Lateral Flow Tests - development, manufacturing, assay optimization.

Roles & Achievements


  • Led teams of protein chemistry, downstream processing, and lateral flow production.
  • Coordinated and managed qualifications and validations.

  • Established and improved manufacturing processes for diagnostic components and services.

  • Led the R&D Lateral Flow Team, establishing new customers and managing business development.

  • Led 8+ 3-party-funded projects (EU Horizon 2020, BMBF, ZIM) also with international partners.

  • Resulted in a year-over-year sales increase in the responsible area .


Passionate about


  • Consulting in the area of lateral flow tests diagnostic industry.
  • Mentoring and Coaching aspiring professionals in the field.


🌐 Connect with me

News & Articles

Banner of Blog Showing Steven Steiner sitting at notebook and writing articles

Decoding the Importance of Waste Pads in Lateral Flow Devices


Scheme of a Lateral Flow TestIn the rapidly evolving field of diagnostics, lateral flow tests have carved a niche for themselves as a reliable tool for quick results. While the spotlight often shines on the more visible components such as the test and control lines or the cassette, there exists a key player that silently contributes to the test's functionality - the waste pad. This blog post aims to shed light on the importance of the waste pad and how its selection can significantly influence the performance of a lateral flow test.

The Role of Waste Pads: More Than Meets the Eye

The waste pad, also referred to as the wick(ing) or absorbent pad, is positioned at the end of the lateral flow strip – opposite of the sample application area. Its main role is to serve as a take-Malfunctioning Lateral Flow Testup reservoir for the reagents. Without an absorbent pad, the flow of the test would cease as soon as the liquid front has reached the far end of the reaction membrane. In this case the sample volume that will give information about analyte amount is very limited (about only the void volume of the membrane) – and therefore, also the sensitivity of your test might be very limited. By incorporating an absorbent pad, this volume can be substantially increased and thus also the sensitivity of your assay is increased by simply moving a higher amount of analyte over the test line zone.
An interesting effect is observable when the membrane begins to dry after the assay has concluded: reversal of flow direction. Liquid in the absorbent pad flows back onto the membrane This can lead to false positive results when the assay is read too late.

A seemingly straightforward component is instrumental in maintaining the test's precision and reliability by managing the flow of and preventing backflow.

“A good way to terminate a lateral flow run: remove the waste pad. Although only feasible for dipstick tests, i.e. LFT without cassette.”


Key Factors to Consider When Selecting a Waste Pad

  • Absorption Capacity: The waste pad should possess a high absorption capacity to effectively soak up the surplus sample and buffer. If the pad's absorption capacity is inadequate, it could lead to backflow, disrupting the test's flow and potentially leading toChoice of Material inaccurate results. Absorption capacity is manly driven by:
    • thickness of the material,
    • size of the pad on the strip and
    • the absorption properties of the material.

So generally speaking: A longer waste pad from the same material will increase the total absorption capacity of your LFT.

  • Material: Waste pads are typically crafted from cellulose or polyester. An interesting alternative are polyolefin based materials (for example by POREX). The choice of material can impact the pad's absorption capacity and the rate of flow. It's essential to choose a material that is compatible with the other components of the test. Especially, when you are using a cassette you need to find a material that fits thickness-wise into your housing.
  • Size: The size of the waste pad should be sufficient to absorb the volume of the sample and buffer used in the test. A pad that is too small may not absorb all the surplus liquid, while a pad that is too large may unnecessarily increase the size and cost of your test. On the supplier pages you generally find information about water absorption per area of the specific materials to guide your decision-


Typical Issues of Waste Pad Selection on Test Performance

The selection of a waste pad can influence the performance of a lateral flow test. A high-suitable waste pad ensures a smooth and consistent flow, which is vital for the formation of the test and control lines.Typical Issues

  • Insufficient capacity: see above.

  • Irregular or slow flow: This can be caused when nitrocellulose and waste pad are not sufficiently overlapping. Another reason could be compression of the material. This can be found when the dimensions of the cassette and the strip materials are not matching.

  • Poor quality: Contamination of the material during manufacturing or storage.



Typical Suppliers


Here you can find a short list of starting points for your waste pad research:

  • Ahlstrom:

  • Cytiva

  • MDI,pads%20for%20dipstick%20as%20well%20as%20device%20formats

  • Porex – ohne Glasfaser und Zellulose


While the waste pad may seem like a minor component in a lateral flow test, its role is far from minor. The selection of a waste pad can significantly influence the test's performance, underlining the importance of careful selection and quality control in lateral flow test development.

At Steven Steiner Consulting, I comprehend the complexity of lateral flow test development. With my expertise in diagnostics and a keen eye for detail, I can assist you in understanding these complexities and developing high-quality, reliable lateral flow tests. Reach out to me today to learn more about my consulting services.


If you need further assistance or consultation, don't hesitate to reach out to me.

Don’t hesitate to contact me and book a meeting.

Share your own experiences, ideas, or challenges related to lateral flow test cassettes and send me a message.


Disclaimer: All Pictures and Sketches were produced by AI Bing Image Creator.









Let's connect

No matter the complexity of your challenges, I'm here to listen and find solutions. Together, we'll tackle even the most puzzling problems, combining our knowledge and expertise. Trust me — I've encountered a wide range of scenarios and I'm prepared to dive in.

Let me be your guide!


By submitting you are agreeing to your information being used and stored in line with our privacy policy