A laser-based interferometer sensor that can quickly identify coronavirus from saliva or nasal swab at the site of infection is being developed by researchers. The researchers are working on a brand-new optical biosensor demonstrator that can quickly and painlessly identify COVID-19 in humans as soon as it enters the body.
The sensor is far more trustworthy than the coronavirus rapid-test finger-prick kit that determines whether a person has had the coronavirus in the past and has since recovered because it can diagnose in real-time with high specificity from a low-concentration sample.
The coronavirus molecules attach to the interferometer sensor surface, changing the signal when the virus is present. It is how the detector operates. They claim that a nano-interferometric biosensor, which identifies at the molecular level, is the most sensitive, label-free detection technology currently accessible globally and is used by the team. Only the coronavirus molecules are caught on the sensor because the bioreceptors on the sensor surface are uniquely tuned to a particular antigen of the virus.
When light enters the device, a few nanometers-high evanescent fields are produced over the sensing surface. Here, when a sample of respiratory fluid passes through receptors (like antibodies or DNA strands), the antigens of the viral capsid can be recognized.
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