Researchers at the University of Warwick have developed a new diagnostic tool to detect COVID-19 on the spot. This could change the way we do mass testing for COVID-19. Currently, there is an urgent need for new diagnostics, especially those which give rapid results for screening of healthcare professionals and high-risk individuals.
This new diagnostic tool uses glycans (sialic acids) in the lateral flow device. An important benefit of using glycans is that it detects only intact viruses and thus can easily detect active infections. The researchers have tested this tool on a pseudotyped virus with great results and further research is underway to optimise the detection limits.
The diagnostic tool contains paper-based polymer-stabilized, multivalent gold nanoparticles bearing sialic acid derivatives in lateral flow device. The advantages of using such devices are that it requires no centralized infrastructure and little or no clinical training. Additionally, the technology is extremely low-cost as the kit is paper-based.
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