Analyses / Test Facilities and Methods Technology Offers

Alireza Daneshvar posted this:
Pharmacy Student and Researcher at Tehran University of Medical Sciences

Designing and developing vaccines, cures and diagnostic kits can be considered as the first priority for every country which is in the first line of fighting against coronavirus. Now there is only PCR test and IgG/IgM test for COVID-19 assessment. One of the most important problems of this diagnostic test is the time needed by the device to detect infected persons. This problem makes big companies in the field of pharmaceutical and medical devices manufacturing to design and develop rapid test kits. Our research team found that there are some specific proteins on the viral membrane which can make some reagents undergo a specific chemical reaction. Every reaction has a specific product related to substrates, so by detection of products with indicator reagents we are able to identify the virus in saliva. Indicator reagents usually change the reaction mixture color so by color change we can approve that the person is infected by COVID-19. The advantages of using saliva include: specimen collection can be done without a healthcare professional no additional equipment such as swabs or transport media are needed as nasopharyngeal specimens can be 'uncomfortable' use of saliva-based testing may encourage recruits to clinical trials of vaccines. So far two prototypes have been designed: 1) For Home Testing: Disposable test kits where an individual adds a saliva sample into a vial containing the indicator reagent, the presence of the COVID-19 virus is indicated by a positive test as shown by a colour change. 2) Reusable Low Cost Test Kits for Healthcare Professionals: Where there is a low concentration of virus in saliva, for example in the first days after infection, viral proteins can be concentrated using a saliva condensation function. In this situation, multiple samples of saliva are placed into a device which can condensate the samples to increase concentration of any virus present. After the test has been completed, the vessel can be disinfected for ready for re-use. One of the most important properties of this approach is a much lower error rate than has been found in other devices. (errors found in other tests are in various submitted articles to different journals). The re-usable nature of this professional test could make it a practical solution for low-income countries where large scale expensive PCR testing is not an option.
COVID-19 Rapid Diagnostic Kit