New analytic instrument may permit on-the-spot recognition of Covid disease

New analytic instrument may permit on-the-spot recognition of Covid disease


  • Post By : Kumar Jeetendra

  • Source: University of Warwick

  • Date: 25 Sep,2020

Scientists at the University of Warwick have demonstrated a possible diagnostic tool for detecting Covid-19 using sugars will operate with a virus as opposed to just its proteins, a significant step in making it a viable evaluation in future.

Coronavirus diagnostics currently require centralized facilities and collection/distribution of swabs and outcomes are’next day’.

A new diagnostic tool being developed by the University of Warwick and its partner Iceni Diagnostics may allow on-the-spot detection of Coronavirus infection, without facilities using a simple disposal device.

The new diagnostic tool uses glycans (sugars) to detect the virus, with a tool very similar to a home pregnancy test.

There is an urgent need for new diagnostics, especially those which give rapid results for screening of healthcare professions or for getting transportation, education and manufacturing hubs running again.

The diagnostic proof of principle has been demonstrated in initial studies, but the partnership is currently searching for investment or philanthropic donors to take the idea forward.

Our team has now been able to show that this detection technique works with a’pseudotyped virus’; a safer to handle alternative which mimics SARS-COV-2. This further demonstrated that the diagnostic arrangement can detect actual viruses not only the isolated proteins from its surface.”

The additional results have enabled us to fine-tune the system more, and find out more about how we can optimise the detection limits and precisely how a sample needs to be introduced to the device, which is crucial.

Our next stage is individual samples and understanding how sensitive the device is and really thinking how it might be used alongside existing diagnostic tools.

The rapid detection of the virus, for both healthcare and to enable society to go back to normal is crucial. Our technologies, developed through joint PhD student work with our business partners, makes use of glyco-nanomaterials to discover a specific portion of the coronavirus.

The technology is straightforward, and incredibly low-cost since the kit is paper-based. The University retained lab-capacity for essential COVID research such as this ensuring we can fulfil the University’s mission to create new knowledge and innovative solutions. ”

Professor Robert Field, co-founder and CEO of Iceni diagnostics, comments:
“It is great working with the incredible talent from the Gibson staff at Warwick. Combining our expertise has enabled us to move this project along rapidly – like initial clinical evaluation.

We look forward to extending our working relationship with Warwick to research diagnostics for other infectious diseases based on carbohydrates and glycopolymers”

Dr James Lapworth,Warwick Innovations, who is working with Professor Gibson to commercialise the technology, said:

“There is an urgent, global need to improve diagnostic testing capacity for Covid-19 infections. This new approach potentially offers significant benefits since it delivers an extremely rapid result and requires no specialist lab equipment or training to complete.

The result is that people could determine very quickly whether they have a current infection and take appropriate actions, for example to self-isolate.”

Journal reference:

Baker, A. N., et al. (2020) The SARS-COV-2 Spike Protein Binds Sialic Acids and Enables Rapid Detection in a Lateral Flow Point of Care Diagnostic Device. ACS Central Science.

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