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New chip simplifies covid Testing, provides results in Smart Phone

In 55 minutes, a team of researchers created a chip that is like a stamp that can help to diagnose Covid-19.

Researchers including lead author, Peter Lillehoj of Rice University, USA, said that a diagnostic tool that connects to an off-shelf phone could be diagnosed within 55 minutes or less by means of programmed magnetic nano-percussions.

And, combined with a Google Pixel 2 phone and a plug-in potentiostat, according to a paper published in the ACS Sensors journal, it has delivered a positive diagnosis with a concentration of up to 230 picograms for whole serums.

"This system is perfect because it doesn't need a laboratory," Lillehoj said.
"The whole test can be performed and results generated at the collection location, health centre or pharmacy. The whole device is easy to bring and easy to use," added Lillehoj.

The microflow chip in stamp-size tests a typical finger prick of the concentration of nucleocapsid (N) SARS-CoV-2 protein in blood serum.

The nanobeads bind in the chip and pass to the electrochemical sensor that detects minute quantities of a biomarker, SARS-CoV-2 N protein, a biomarker for Covid-19.

Researchers claim that a procedure simplifies the treatment of samples compared to swab-based PCR tests, which are typically used for Covid-19 diagnosis and must be tested in a laboratory.

The team used existing biological sensing tools to create simple diagnostics and combined them with their own experience, such as a patch of the microneedles implemented last year in malaria diagnostics.

The new instrument is built on a slightly more complicated detection method. But in a short time, it provides precise, quantitative results. For the testing of the unit, the lab was focused on donated serum samples from healthy and Covid-19 positive individuals.

The laboratory found that 55 minutes provided the microchip the ideal time to detect SARS-CoV-2 N protein at levels of 50 picograms (billionths of a gramme) per millilitre in the entire serum.

The team has said that the microchip is capable of determining N protein by 5 times diluting serum at a concentration even lower at 10 picographs per millilitre.

Source- The sisat Daily

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