Coronavirus testing is the most critical point through which the virus needs to be fought. If proper testing and the virus are discovered at its initial ages, then medical personnel would be better adept at saving people's lives. Although several vaccines have been developed and vaccine drives are being held judiciously worldwide, several COVID-19 cases globally are still a major concern. Thus, health officials need to quickly find ways through which rapid identification of individuals contracting the disease can happen so that there is a chance at limiting virus transmission.
To accomplish this, a research team has managed to develop a new diagnostic technique that will enable the world to contain the spread of coronavirus and other similar viral outbreaks. This may turn out to be a revolutionary advancement for Biosensors Market as the test developed has proved to deliver highly precise results in mere 15 minutes. Furthermore, the new biosensor technology has great potential and could possibly be adapted to detect other pathogens, resulting in better containment of future pandemics.
The team stated that their diagnostic combines electrochemical biosensors with engineered protein constructs. This enables clinicians to detect bits of the vu=virus promptly with a high degree of accuracy that was only previously possible through genetic techniques. In addition, the whole setup can easily work at the point of patient care on saliva samples of unprocessed blood. This means that there is no need to laboriously prepare the sample or have a centralized laboratory.
The innovative technique merges the speed of protein detection with the curacy of genetics. Even in cases where only a single virus particle is present in the sample, the new platform will successfully detect it. The system uses a virus-specific nanobody (type of binding protein designed to stick to fragments of different coronaviruses, including those related to COVID-19). The nanobody is secured by a series of biochemical linkers upon a thin layer of gold. Whenever an electric current is added to the equation, the nanobody controls the flow of electricity in the semiconducting film it is connected to. Due to the existence of these nanobodies, viral proteins change their flow which results in the creation of a signal that is amplified to measurable levels via a device called the organic electrochemical transistor.
The research team has brought forth a combination of state-of-the-art bioelectronics hardware, synthetic biology protein, and materials science engineering design through this study. Altogether, the whole setup helps in simplifying and accelerating coronavirus testing. In the coming future, researchers want to further develop their research to create a bench-top, portable device that can help facilitate the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
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