New method can diagnose Covid-19 in just 30 minutes
South Korea : The scientists have developed a new method with which they can diagnose coronavirus within 30 minutes and it is equally effective as the PCR test.
The SENSR technology developed by researchers at Pohang University of Science & Technology (POSTECH) in South Korea diagnosis Covid-19 based on the RNA sequence of the virus, reducing the stress on one single testing location and avoiding contact with infected patients as much as possible.
The biggest benefit is that a diagnostic kit can be developed within a week even if a new infectious disease appears other than Covid-19, according to the research published in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering.
Till date, PCR is the most effective method to diagnose coronavirus but it cannot be used in places like airports, drive-thru and other quick passages as it requires heavy equipment and skilled labour and a certain time duration to give the result.
The researchers designed the test kit to produce nucleic acid binding reaction to show fluorescence only when Covid-19 RNA is present.
The study claims that the virus can be detected immediately without any preparation process with high sensitivity in a short time. And it is as accurate as the current PCR diagnostic method. It takes a total time of about 30 minutes to give a test result.
Another great advantage of the SENSR technology is the ease of creating the diagnostic device that can be developed into a simple portable and easy-to-use form, the researchers said.
"This method is a fast and simple diagnostic technology which can accurately analyse the RNA without having to treat a patient’s sample,” said POSTECH Professor Jeong Wook Lee. “We can better prepare for future epidemics as we can design and produce a diagnostic kit for new infectious diseases within a week," Lee said.