Researchers from Peking University in Beijing, China have developed a device that they claim will be able to detect the COVID-19 virus within 10 minutes.
The device contains a biological sensor the size of a laptop that fits in a sensing chip which the scientists say can detect the virus almost instantly with an accuracy rating similar to traditional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests.
In a peer-reviewed paper published in a Chinese scientific journal recently, the team mentioned that the sensing chip could be easily transported and used in any point-of-care facility, with the main benefit being the opportunity to save time and money on COVID-19 testing.
A possible speed leap in COVID-19 testing.
The device works efficiently and quickly by only using a minute fluid sample from the patient, which is then put through various tests involving heat and electrical conductivity testing to ascertain whether or not the virus is present.
Based upon a test of the device on six COVID-19 patients and three healthy individuals, the team returned results that indicated an accuracy rating of 99 percent – similar to that of today’s widely used PCR tests.
Guo Xuefeng – a professor of chemical engineering and leader of the research team – even reported that the device was already patented and ready for immediate application, hinting at yet another possible answer to the search for effective on-the-spot virus detection methods.
Similarly, researchers from an Indonesian university also developed a breathalyzer device that they claimed could detect the virus within two minutes, although the accuracy rating for that device was not claimed to be as high as traditional PCR tests.
The next challenge for the device moving forward will be whether or not the capability to mass-produce it exists. Some experts looking from the outside in have voiced concerns regarding the material used inside the sensing chip, and whether or not potential quality-control issues may prove to be a hindrance to reliability and mass-production.
But despite the hurdles, the overall takeaway from development of such devices is that steady progress being made towards combating COVID-19 and its future virus counterparts.
Fingers crossed these new devices make it to the mainstream, and fast.
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ที่มา : Mashable