The Researchers from the University of Florida and Taiwan’s National Chiao Tung University have developed a quick and sensitive test for Covid-19 biomarkers. Their sensor system detects objects in less than a second.
Minghan Xian, study author and doctoral candidate at the University of Florida, is quoted in a press release from the American Institute of Physics, which publishes the journal, as saying, “This could alleviate slow Covid-19 testing turnaround time issues.”
Detecting the presence of the virus necessitates amplifying the number of the biomarker (such as viral RNA copies in the common RT-PCR technique for Covid-19 detection) or amplifying the binding signal for a target biomarker.
The test employs a biosensor strip that is shaped similarly to commercially available glucose test strips. A small microfluidic channel at the tip allows the test fluid to be introduced.
“A few electrodes are exposed to fluid within the microfluidic channel. One is coated with gold, and Covid-relevant antibodies are chemically attached to the gold surface,” Xian is quoted as saying.
Sensor strips are connected to a circuit board via a connector during measurement, and a short electrical test signal is sent between the gold electrode bonded with Covid antibody and another auxiliary electrode. This signal is then returned to the circuit board for further examination.
The sensor strips in the system must be discarded after use, but the test circuit board is reusable. This means that the cost of testing could be significantly reduced.