IIT Kharagpur develops ultra-low-cost rapid test kit for coronavirus

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IIT Kharagpur develops ultra-low-cost rapid test kit for coronavirus
IIT Kharagpur develops ultra-low-cost rapid test kit for coronavirus

Kolkata : The development of vaccines for novel coronavirus disease are in process and till that time the only best option is to diagnose the disease and quarantine the patient to stop spread of coronavirus. Currently, the cost attached to the tests of coronavirus can make a hole in anyone's pocket; addressing the issue, the researchers at IIT Kharagpur in West Bengal have developed a coronavirus rapid test kit.

The latest Covid-19 rapid test kit is capable of producing results in less than an hour and comes at a very low cost of Rs 400 as compared to currently available Rs 4000 kit.

The test results of the patient will be shared via a mobile application.

The market-ready machine was unveiled on Saturday at the institute and IIT has already filed a patent for this machine, which the institute says is the first of its kind in the world. Each machine costs around Rs 2000 which can be scaled down with the help of mass production.

Normally a RT-PCR machine would cost Rs 15 lakhs and a test would cost Rs 2000 – 2500.

"Pool testing is possible. The same portable unit can be used for a large number of tests, on mere replacement of the paper cartridge after each test. At least 10 different samples can be tested every hour," said Suman Chakraborty, a professor of mechanical engineering at IIT Kharagpur.

IIT Kharagpur's machine can be used in the remote locations with very few resources like power. It can be operated on solar power and batteries. The biggest advantage with the machine is that it can be operated by people who have zero experience. 

"Once the samples - Nasopharyngeal and swab - are collected it is very use to operate the machine. A person will not need any training and can operate just by reading the instructions that have been prepared in Hindi and Bengali," said Arindam Mondal, assistant professor at School of Bio Science in IIT Kharagpur.