At a breakneck pace, hundreds of scientists around the world are working to create drugs to treat the people infected with Coronavirus. The search is towards a drug that shields protein in our cell that Coronavirus depends on to thrive and reproduce.
Developed a rapid testing technology!
Reports are that scientists from the University of Oxford’s Engineering Science Department and the Oxford Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research (OSCAR) have developed a rapid testing technology for the novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). The team, led by Prof Zhanfeng Cui and Prof Wei Huang, has been working to improve test capabilities as the virus spreads internationally.
Three times faster!
Previous viral RNA tests took 1.5 to 2 hours to give a result, but the new test is much faster and does not need a complicated instrument. In other words, the new test is capable of providing results in just half an hour – over three times faster than the current method.
Prof Wei Huang says:
The beauty of this new test lies in the design of the viral detection that can specifically recognise SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) RNA and RNA fragments. The test has built-in checks to prevent false positives or negatives, and the results have been highly accurate.
Helps reduce the spread of COVID-19!
This technology identifies the patients in the early stages of infection sooner, potentially helping to reduce the spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). The technique only requires a simple heat-block which maintains a constant temperature for RNA reverse transcription and DNA amplification, and the naked eye can read the results.
Tested in Shenzhen Luohou People’s Hospital!
The technology is verified with real clinical samples at Shenzhen Luohou People’s Hospital in China. Shenzhen Luohu People’s Hospital has applied the rapid detection kits on 16 clinic samples, including 8 positives and 8 negatives, which have been confirmed by conventional RT-PCR methods and other clinical evidence. The test results using the rapid detection kits were all successful.
Prof Zhanfeng Cui, the Director of OSCAR, says:
I am proud of our team that has developed a useful technology and can make a contribution in combating CoV-19, and we are very grateful to the hospital’s medical team led by Dr. Xizhou Sun, Dr. Xiuming Zhang and Dr. Dan Xiong for their part in testing this new technology.
The Oxford scientists are now working to develop an integrated device so that the test can be used at clinics, airports, or even for home use. The experiments to build the technology were performed in the Department of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford.
Main image credits: Oxford
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