Coronavirus Diagnosis: Optical Method Reduces Time

Recognizing that current methods of Coronavirus diagnosis take approximately one hour, a team of researchers has developed a method that combines optics and magnetic particles able to test 100 samples of patients potentially infected with the virus and reduce the diagnostic time to approximately 15 minutes.

The time it currently takes for Coronavirus diagnosis poses one of the greatest challenges in treating infected patients and increases the risk of exposure. Using the technology, saliva tests can be analyzed within 15 minutes.

The technology enables sensitive detection of virus-specific RNA sequences by attaching the virus’ RNA to a fluorescent molecule that emits light when illuminated by a laser beam. At very low concentrations of RNA, the signal emitted is so low that existing devices cannot detect it. If we think of the saliva of a corona patient filling an entire room, then this laser beam can be compared to the size of a fist and at low concentrations of virus RNA, there might be only 2-3 fluorescent molecules within that fist. Adding magnetic particles to the solution enables them to adhere to the fluorescent molecules.

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