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New COVID-19 Test to Give Results in Less Than 5 Minutes

Published On Dec 10, 2020, Updated On Dec 10, 2020

A rapid, ultrasensitive Covid-19 test has been developed by a team led by an Indian-origin scientist in the U.S. It is to be noted that the team has developed the test with a paper-based electrochemical sensor, which is capable of detecting the presence of the novel coronavirus disease in less than five minutes.

Researchers from the University of Illinois, U.S. are responsible for the creation of a graphene-based electrochemical biosensor including an electrical read-out setup that enables detection of SARS-CoV-2 genetic material. As per the research published in the journal ACS Nano, the biosensor has two prime components, the first being an electrical read-out measuring platform and second being probes to detect viral RNA’s presence.

Addressing the use of graphene-based electrochemical biosensor, Maha Aleef, a University of Illinois Grainger College of Engineering graduate student said, “Graphene possesses unique mechanical and electrochemical properties. Therefore, it is perfect for developing sensitive electrochemical sensors.”

The performance of the sensor was checked by making use of Covid-19 positive and negative samples. The sensor showcased a massive increase in the voltage of positive samples in comparison to the negative ones. It took less than five minutes to confirm the presence of viral genetic material. Furthermore, the sensor was able to differentiate viral RNA loads (progress of infection) in the samples. According to the researchers, the platform is portable and costs less, which are two prime factors that make it a preference in future.

The research team also plans to detect many different diseases using the same platform.

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Disclaimer: This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.

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