A new coronavirus test can detect past and present COVID-19 infections in just 20 minutes. The Independent reported that blood samples were used by Australian researchers in their newly developed COVID-19 test to determine novel coronavirus infections in 20 minutes; they claimed that is is a world-first breakthrough.
The researchers who developed the new virus tested claimed that their new technology can identify those individuals who are currently infected, as well as those who previously contracted the virus.
"Short-term applications include rapid case identification and contact tracing to limit the viral spread, while population screening to determine the extent of viral infection across communities is a longer-term need," said the researchers in a paper published by the Journal ACS Sensors on Friday, July 17.
Monash University's Chemical Engineering Department and BioPRIA led the Australian researchers, including those people from the ARC Center of Excellence in Convergent BioNano Science and Technology. The new technology called agglutination or analysis to detect the presence and amount of a substance in the blood can still determine if an individual was previously infected, even if he or she have already healed from the disease; unlike the current swab test, which is used to identify people who are only currently infected.
The Australian researchers also claimed that the new COVID-19 test can accommodate hundreds of samples every hour, expecting that it can also aid clinical trials by using it to detect antibodies developed by the human body in response to vaccination.
The researches expect government and commercial support after filing for a government authority for the innovation that would allow for its production to scale up.
Other companies that tried to develop the 20-minute COVID-19 test
The 20-minute COVID-19 test is a promising innovation, and other companies tried to create one of their own. Forbes reported that the Sherlock Biosciences was planning to partner with Binx health to develop a 20-minute coronavirus test using Crispr Gene Editing Technology after receiving its first Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization in July.
The World Economic Forum named the Crispr-based COVID-19 test as a Technology Pioneer. After partnering with Binx health on July 1, Sherlock Biosciences announced that it would scale up the rapid diagnostic test for a point-of-care setting so that the innovation could be used not only in doctors' offices, but also in grocery stores, supermarket, and other workplaces.
The report explained that the scientists and researchers of Sherlock Biosciences based their technology on the bacterial immune system, which can edit genes. Crispr typically uses a piece of guide RNA to act just like a "wanted poster" to look for a target gene of interest. After it locates the gene, its enzymatic partner, the Cas9 "molecular scissors," will snip it off.