We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us
Abbott Diagnostics

Download Mobile App





Researchers Use Physics Technology to Develop Rapid Antigen COVID-19 Test

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 10 Nov 2020
Print article
Image: Researchers Use Physics Technology to Develop Rapid Antigen COVID-19 Test (Photo courtesy of MIT)
Image: Researchers Use Physics Technology to Develop Rapid Antigen COVID-19 Test (Photo courtesy of MIT)
Researchers have adapted technology that is typically used for physics applications to create a rapid antigen COVID test that has been able to detect viral proteins in minutes with high accuracy.

Currently, PCR-, antigen-, and antibody-based technologies have been at the forefront in the development of COVID testing. However, scientists are looking into other technologies not usually used in the life sciences in order to improve the detection of the virus. Researchers from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA, USA) have developed a test called TriboSense One that does not have an optical readout for detecting viruses like many current tests on the market, but instead provides a mechanical readout to assess the strength of biomolecular interactions, looking at friction to detect a sample's molecular interactions and confirm the presence of the virus in very small concentrations.

The instrument measures how molecules in saliva affect the motion of sensing beads with magnetic properties to determine whether SARS-CoV-2 viruses are present or not. The beads and the saliva are mixed together during sample prep. Currently, the test detects the spike protein of the virus, but the magnetic sensing particles can also be customized to stick to different types of proteins, for example the nucleocapsid protein of SARS-CoV-2, which the researchers are also pursuing. Once the saliva sample is collected, the consumer's job is quite simple, consisting mostly of pipetting the sample into the solution. The technology was originally created to measure protein-protein, protein-DNA, DNA-DNA and other biomolecular interactions. Eventually, the team wants to expand testing to other diseases, but the focus now is on COVID-19. The testing system could potentially benefit point-of-care settings because of its small size and portability. The test is also inexpensive; while it costs around USD 5-6 right now, at scale it could even cost as little as USD 3.

"We had to go from scratch," said MIT Professor Alfredo Alexander-Katz. "We had never worked on viruses … and we adapted the technology to be able to do this."

Related Links:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Print article

Channels

Molecular Diagnostics

view channel
Image: Histopathology of neurofibrillary tangles in the brain of a patient with Alzheimer`s disease (Bielschowski silver stain) (Photo courtesy of Dimitri P. Agamanolis, MD).

Alzheimer's Disease Subtypes Proposed from Brain Gene Expression Profiles

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia in the elderly, estimated to affect more than 5.8 million individuals in the USA and more than 50 million worldwide, with almost half of individuals... Read more

Industry

view channel
Image: uPath HER2 Dual ISH image analysis for breast cancer (Photo courtesy of Roche)

Roche Launches Digital Pathology Image Analysis Algorithms for Precision Patient Diagnosis in Breast Cancer

Roche (Basel, Switzerland) has announced the CE-IVD launch of its automated digital pathology algorithms, uPath HER2 (4B5) image analysis and uPath Dual ISH image analysis for breast cancer to help determine... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2021 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.