Rapid COVID-19 test developed in Pennsylvania uses electrodes to identify positive cases

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania say that as the U.S. moves toward summer opening, ending more than a year of COVID-19 restrictions, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania say they have created a diagnostic test that will help in long-term efforts to spread the coronavirus. Minimize.

The scientists behind the RAPID 1.0 test say that their model uses electrical signals instead of the more common PCR test, which is a hallmark of COVID-19 diagnosis during the peak of the pandemic.

Although PCR tests are very accurate, they require a large number of laboratories and skilled technicians to analyze the results in a time that may take hours or days. Their production costs are also high.

A paper said that the test developed by Penn Medicine can present a positive or negative COVID-19 result with 90% accuracy within four minutes. Published this week in “Substance” magazine.

The accuracy rate of the PCR test is within 97%, which is higher than the Penn Medicine test and Other quick tests to market quickly In the past few months, but for a long time its cost and technical limitations have prompted people to seek supplementary testing methods.

The creators of the Pennsylvania RAPID test devised a production method that uses electrodes manufactured in large quantities on a screen printer. The test detects the binding of the coronavirus spike protein to its receptor in the human body to track electrical signals to indicate the difference between infected cells and healthy cells. These signals can be read using a desktop instrument or a smart phone.

“Before the pandemic, our laboratory was studying diagnostic methods for bacterial infections. But then, COVID-19 emerged,” Say Césarde la Fuente, Chief Scientist of RAPID. “We have a responsibility to use our expertise to help-the diagnostic space is mature and can be improved. For example, we are deeply touched by the health inequalities we witnessed during the pandemic, such as testing and launching vaccines. We believe An inexpensive diagnostic test like this RAPID can help bridge some of these gaps.”

To evaluate the effectiveness of the RAPID 1.0 prototype, de la Fuente’s team used COVID-19 positive and negative clinical samples from the University of Pennsylvania Hospital. The sample includes the highly contagious variant of B.1.1.7.

In the blind test, the researchers analyzed 139 nasal swab samples-109 were positive for COVID-19 and 30 were negative for COVID-19. They also analyzed 50 saliva samples.

In nasal swab samples, the accuracy of the RAPID test was 87.1%. For saliva samples, the accuracy is 90%.

The researchers said that the RAPID test can detect COVID-19 at very low concentrations, and absorb the viral load corresponding to the early stage of the virus two to three days after the onset of symptoms.

Marcelo Der Torossian Torres, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, said: “A fast and reliable test like RAPID can perform high-frequency testing, which can help identify asymptomatic people. If they are infected, they will stay at home and reduce transmission.” The author of the study. “We envision that this type of test can be used in densely populated places, such as schools, airports, stadiums, companies, and even in our own homes.”

The team at de la Fuente stated that the cost of each RAPID test is only $4.67, which can be performed millions of times a week. The screen printer used to manufacture electrodes at the University of Pennsylvania can produce 35,000 electrodes per day, or about 1.05 million per month, and uses cheap filter paper materials.

De La Fuente said: “Having a fast, easy-to-read low-cost test not only extends the test to capable people, but also to remote or impoverished areas.”

The RAPID prototype was developed to meet the needs of testing for COVID-19, but the method can also be used to detect other viruses, such as influenza and sexually transmitted diseases.

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