Handheld, Rapid, Extremely Sensitive Assay of SARS-CoV-2 Infections (UA21-090)

University of Arizona researchers have invented a rapid antigen test to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2 that uses fluorescent immunoassay technology using a smartphone-based fluorescent microscope. This technology preloads virus-specific antigens onto a paper microfluidic chip and then later adds a biological fluid sample from the user, causing target antigens to flow through the chip and inducing particles to aggregate. After the process of loading the sample occurs, the microfluidic chip is then analyzed using the smartphone-based fluorescent microscope, which can detect based on the aggregation of the antigens whether the virus is present in the biological fluid sample from the user. This process occurs rapidly, within minutes, allowing the user to assess their treatment plan quickly after administration of the test. Background: The novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, became a global pandemic in early March 2020. Worldwide, the virus has since killed nearly 1.5 million people and infected 64 million more. One of the key aspects to controlling the spread of the virus is to detect it early through testing and tracing infected individuals. Currently, there are not many diagnostic tests for COVID-19 that rapidly give an individual result. The most commonly available test is an RT-PCR test, results of which usually are not available for a couple of days. This test resolves the issue of forcing a suspected infectious individual to quarantine and wait days for their test results by providing results within minutes of the administration of the test. Not only does this rapid detection technology allow the individual to assess their treatment needs more quickly, but it also is precise and conveniently available through a user’s smartphone technology. If approved, this technology would be readily available to be scaled to thousands of on-site tests at a low cost.Learn more at http://bit.ly/UA21-090 Anne Spieth annes@tla.arizona.edu 520-626-1577

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