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Development History of Pregnancy Test Technology
Korean J Clin Lab Sci 2018;50:382-390  
Published on December 31, 2018
Copyright © 2018 Korean Society for Clinical Laboratory Science.

Young-Il Kwon

Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science, Shinhan University, Uijeongbu, Korea
Correspondence to: Young-Il Kwon
Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science, Shinhan University, 95 Hoam-ro, Uijeongbu 11644, Korea
Tel: 82-31-870-3711 Fax: 82-31-870-3719 E-mail:
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
The history of the pregnancy test started in ancient Egypt with a germination test using wheat and barley. Since then, unscientific methods have been used from the days of Hippocrates and Galen to the Middle Ages when uroscopy was used, even until the early 1800s. On the other hand, since the mid-1800s, scientific methods and evidence have begun to emerge, which led to scientific research on the physiological characteristics of pregnancy. The first attempt to utilize these scientific findings was initiated with the bioassay by Aschheim and Zondek using rats and mice in 1927, and then developed into experiments using rabbits and frogs. The immunoassay method, which started in the 1960s, contributed greatly to the generalization of the pregnancy tests while improving the problems of the bioassay. In 1976, a pregnancy test kit was introduced that can be used at home, contributing to the popularization of pregnancy tests. Since the 1980s, technological advances in diagnostic tests have also been applied to pregnancy tests to further improve the reliability of the diagnosis of pregnancy. In the 2000s, the accuracy and ease of use of the pregnancy test kits for home use have improved drastically. This study examined the history and scientific development of the pregnancy test.
Keywords : Bioassay, History, Immunoassay, Pregnancy test, Reliability

December 2018, 50 (4)
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