A rapid test that detects coronavirus in a second has been created

Biologists have created a kind of analog of test strips for diabetics, inside of which they have built a set of microchannels and electrodes.

Scientists from the United States and China have created a portable rapid test system that can detect traces of coronavirus in samples of a patient’s biological fluids in less than a second. This was reported on Tuesday by the press service of the American Institute of Physics (AIP) with reference to an article in the Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B.

“Our system will solve the problem of slow processing of coronavirus test results. Moreover, this technology can be used to create inexpensive rapid tests for other diseases by changing the set of antibodies attached to one of the electrodes on the test strips,” said Xian Minghan, a researcher at the University of Florida in Gainesville, whose words are quoted by the AIP press service.

In recent months, Russian and foreign specialists have created several variants of test systems that detect traces of the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in blood samples or patient secretions. As a rule, they are based either on the detection of fragments of the RNA of the causative agent of the disease COVID-19 using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and its analogs or on the detection of antibodies to the coronavirus.

As a rule, such an analysis requires a lot of time, from 30 minutes to several hours, which forces scientists to look for new, faster ways to diagnose coronavirus infection. For example, recently Russian and Lithuanian biologists accelerated testing by 13 times, creating a new method of group testing using PCR. In addition, as Xian Minghan notes, scientists are developing fundamentally different test systems that detect traces of the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in other ways. In particular, back in April 2020, American molecular biologists adapted the CRISPR/Cas12 genomic editor for this purpose, making a test based on it that does not make false-positive positives when studying samples of biological fluids.

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Author: Steve Cowan
Graduated From Princeton University. He has been at the Free Press since October 2014. Previously worked as a regional entertainment editor.
Function: Chief-Editor
Steve Cowan

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